Brightest comet of the year to make its closest approach during Christmas

This Hubble Space Telescope picture, from the January 29, 2010, shows a bizarre X-pattern of filamentary structures near the point-like nucleus of the object and trailing streamers of dust. Astronomers have found a comet-like object they believe was created by the collision of two asteroids, possible siblings of the rogue rock blamed for killing the dinosaurs millions of years ago. Reuters

NASA has revealed that the brightest comet of the year will make its close approach with the earth during the Christmas time. As the comet is appearing during Christmas, experts at NASA have named it the 'Christmas Comet' (officially known as Comet 46P/Wirtanen), and in this year, it will be at its closest distance to earth in over four centuries.

The closest flyby of the comet will happen on December 16, 2018. However, space buffs need not wait until December 16 to get a glimpse of the Christmas comet. The comet is bright enough to see with the naked eye from the eastern horizon from now, and the vision will be more perfect if viewed using telescopes.

Apart from the Christmas comet, stargazers have something lot to rejoice this month, as December 2018 is a month loaded with various other spectacular sky events. Saturn's cosmic pairing with the moon has already happened on December 08, and it lasted for just 30 minutes. In the cosmic pairing, the hanging lunar crescent was seen hanging very low in the western skies just next to Saturn.

Another upcoming space event to look forward in this December is the Geminid meteor shower which will peak on December 13, 2018, and during this time, more than 60 shooting stars could be seen gracing the skies in the most beautiful manner.

To watch the Geminid meteor shower, space lovers can look at the northeastern side during the late evening and predawn hours. However, to watch the meteor shower in its full beauty, spectators should make sure that they are standing away from city lights.

Mars cosmic pairing with the moon on December 14 and the Ursid meteor shower are other space attractions this month. When compared to the Geminid meteor shower, Ursid is expected to be less instant, but during the peak hours, more than 30 shooting stars will streak across the light.