Rare, recently discovered comet visible for the first time this month


A newly discovered comet will be close enough to Earth to be visible — but catch it while you can, because it won't return for thousands of years, Tech Times reported Tuesday.

The comet, named C/2016 U1 NEOWISE, was discovered in October by NASA's NEOWISE mission, which monitors outer space for potential threats to our planet. For those in the Northern Hemisphere, C/2016 U1 NEOWISE will be visible just before dawn in the southeastern sky during the first two weeks of 2017, according to NASA

The comet is moving farther south each day until Jan. 14, at which point it will be closest to the sun. Then, it'll be "heading back out to the outer reaches of the solar system for an orbit lasting thousands of years," according to NASA.

Some avid sky watchers have already been sharing photos on Twitter with images tagged "C/2016 U1 NEOWISE."

It's close to us, but don't panic: Just because you can see it doesn't mean it's coming to destroy us — while the comet "will be visible to skywatchers at Earth, it is not considered a threat to our planet either," according to NASA.

So now's your chance to wake up before dawn and catch a glimpse of this comet before it's gone for good. But don't worry too much about missing this one — 2017 will have plenty more exciting celestial events to observe before the year is over.