Comet in the night sky through March

Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks has been spotted in the night sky. The comet has an orbital period of roughly 71 years.

The name comes from two astronomers that each discovered it individually. 12P comes from the fact that it was the twelfth comet to have a definitive orbital period calculated.

12P/Pons-Brooks will be visible in the early evening sky through the end of March. The path will take it from near Andromeda on March 13th to near Aries on April 5th. Look about 20-degrees above west northwest horizon.

Binoculars or a telescope may be needed. The comet is expected to be the brightest on the evenings of March 30th and March 31st.

The comet will disappear into the sunset glow in April as daylight hours increase. It will come closest to the sun on April 21.

Of course, cloud cover will also need to cooperate with viewing. Check your forecast here.