A rare celestial sight in Germany can be seen in the sky until mid-April

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Every 70 years a special comet can be seen from Earth for days. © Michael Jäger/Imago

A rare sight seen from Earth only once in 70 years can now be seen in the skies over Germany.

Germany – It's farther than the Sun, yet you can see it in the dark: Comet 12 P/Pons-Brooks is visible from Earth every 70 years, as it is now. According to amateur astronomer Michael Jagger, there's also a chance to spot the rare celestial sight with the naked eye — simply from a mountain.

A rare celestial sight in Germany can be seen in the sky until mid-April

Jagger, who photographed the comet from Austria in March, explains that the comet is prone to bursts of brightness. Its surface has geysers that emit gas and dust. These give the comet its characteristic greenish-yellow tail.

Uwe Pilz, president of the Association of Astronomers, insists that telescopes are necessary to observe the comet. The comet is very low in the evening sky and is best seen in the northwest. Depending on the location, the best viewing time is at dusk, between 7:30 PM and 8:00 PM, before the sky turns completely dark. A different sky scene can be seen in North Rhine-Westphalia in February.

A green comet in the sky right now: Here's how to view this celestial scene

If the weather cooperates, beginners have a good chance of spotting the comet until early April. For astronomers, April 10 is the last day of observation. The comet, estimated to be 30 kilometers in size, is located 240 million kilometers from Earth (read more service news on RUHR24).

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The coma is a cloudy shell around the comet's nucleus and forms as the comet approaches the Sun and heats up. 12 In P/Pons Brooks, the tail is exceptionally long, over ten million kilometers. Jagger compares the comet to Halley's Comet and describes it as one of the largest known periodic comets.

Seeing comets in the sky in Germany: Not all of them are visible to the naked eye

Not all comets are visible to the naked eye. Explosions on the comet's surface can only be seen in specially edited photographs. Comet Ponce-Brookes was first discovered in July 1812 and has a long history of observations.

Comets from the cold edge of our solar system are remnants of the time when the planets formed. They differ from asteroids in their higher proportion of volatile matter. Occasionally, gravity or collisions bring them closer to the Sun or Earth, giving us unique observational opportunities. Edited by dpa/Lisa Siegle

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