Q:

What comet is currently visible from the Earth?

A:

Quick Answer

Seeing comets with the naked eye from Earth is rare, so it is likely that there are currently no comets visible. Astronomers expect at least three comets will be visible from Earth in 2015.

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Full Answer

The comets astronomers predict seeing from Earth in 2015 are 88P/Howell, C-2014 Q1 PanSTARRS and C/2013 US10 Catalina. The Howell comet should be visible from the southern hemisphere from April to May. PanSTARRS will be visible from the southern hemisphere beginning in July. Catalina is expected to be the only comet visible in the northern hemisphere. It will likely appear in November or December.

A comet becomes visible to the naked eye when its orbit takes it close to the sun. A comet absorbs solar energy and outgasses, creating a tail of gas and dust that reflects light.

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