PEOPLE are being urged to make the most of the incredibly rare opportunity to see a comet soaring over the county.

Comet Neowise has been visible in the sky above the UK throughout this month, but it will not be visible again for thousands of years.

The existence of Comet Neowise was only confirmed in March when it was discovered by, and named after, Nasa's spacecraft Neowise.

Emily Kramer of the Neowise science team said: "The fact that we can see it is really what makes it unique.

"It's quite rare for a comet to be bright enough that we can see it with the naked eye or even with just binoculars.

Wandsworth Times:

"The last time we had a comet this bright was Comet Hale-Bopp back in 1995 and 1996."

The comet is expected to make its closest approach to earth either tomorrow night or on Thursday, but has been visible throughout July in the early morning and evening.

The Royal Astronomical Society has given advice to anyone aiming to see the comet, with a diagram showing it just below the Big Dipper constellation at this time of the month.

It stated: "To find the comet, make sure you have a clear northern horizon unobstructed by tall buildings, and ideally away from major sources of light pollution.

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"If you have them, use a pair of binoculars to look for the bright haze of the comet, and the fainter tails.

"There are reports of people being able to see it with the naked eye under good conditions, but some optical aid will always improve the view."

The society also explained that comets are "icy rocky bodies, typically mountain-sized, that spend most of their time far from the sun".

"Neowise was last in the inner Solar System 4,500 years ago, and its present passage through the inner Solar system has changed its orbit, so it will not return for another 68 centuries," a spokesman said.

  • Have you seen the comet?