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All I Want For Christmas Is A Telescope

A Christmas comet will be gracing our skies on December 16

Space will be celebrating Christmas a little earlier this year with a “Christmas Comet.” And no, that doesn’t mean Comet the Reindeer is going to pay us an early visit.

The comet, which is officially named 46P/Wirtanen, will grace our skies in the evening of December 16, early morning of December 17 in the AEDT time zone.

Why is this comet such a special event? Well, besides its appearance so close to Christmas, it will also be the tenth closest comet encounter in 70 years. But don’t worry, it won’t come crashing down to earth… probably. It’s 11.5 million kilometres away.

According to the ABC, “the comet, including its diffuse halo of light, is about the size of the full moon.”

“You should be able to see it through binoculars or using a standard DSLR camera if you are away from bright city lights.” But even better news, you’ll be able to see it from anywhere in Australia.

No word yet if it’s actually Santa Clause flying through the sky. Or possibly even the same “star” the three wise men followed to get to Jerusalem for the birth of Jesus. Okay, fine, it’s definitely just a comet.

Now with a Christmas-based comet upon us, what other holiday-themed space events could be in our future? An Easter Eclipse? A Cyber Monday Meteor Shower? A Queen’s Birthday Black Hole?

Watch this space… Or just watch space.