Rare comet will be visible in French sky again tonight

The ‘Devil’s comet’ will shine bright on Friday night and potentially for rest of the month

This beautiful shot shows the comet passing through the sky last week
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A comet that only passes through the night sky every 71 years will once again be visible in the coming days, allowing budding astronomers a rare glimpse.

12P/Pons-Brooks, nicknamed the ‘Devil’s comet’ due to it looking like it has two ‘horns’, has been visible since March 11, with people recommended to use binoculars or a telescope to see its passage.

Read more: Look up to see rare comet passing above French skies

There were worries that after an initial passage, lasting until March 17, the comet would not be bright enough to be visible for the rest of its passage.

However, it will be possible to see the comet again from March 22 to at least the end of the month and perhaps even into April.

If it ‘bursts’ due to explosions of gas and dust on its surface, it could be visible with the naked eye.

Beautiful photos already taken

Despite not being as bright as in previous passages, some beautiful pictures of the comet have been taken, including from amateur astronomer Jordan Marlière.

“I saw that the conditions were quite good, but far from ideal [for photos last week],” he told France3.

“I got my equipment together anyway and left as quickly as possible so that I could set everything up on site, on a hill,” he added.

“I thought it was an original idea to be able to integrate this comet into a photo representing this site, with a tree, a statue and the observation plane,” he said.

You can see more of his photos on his Facebook page below.

How can you see the comet?

Although the comet may be visible with the naked eye if it bursts, it is advised to look for it with binoculars or a telescope.

You will need to look towards the north-west of the sky, near to the Andromeda galaxy.

Applications such as Stellarium (website in French and English) can help you calculate your position in relation to the comet, and tell you how and where to go to see the star.

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