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Comet Encke to be visible next month in Arizona skies

(NASA Photo)

A famous comet is coming to an Arizona sky near you next month!

Comet Encke — also known as Comet 2P —  is the second-most famous periodic comet after Halley’s Comet and will be close to the sun on March 10.

Just being able to say you saw this object is amazing in itself. Halley’s Comet will not return to our skies until 2062 — a long wait indeed!

Comet Encke is a short-period comet that returns to the vicinity of the sun every 3.3 years. This year will mark its 63rd recorded return, which was discovered back in 1786 by astronomer Pierre Mechain.

It took the scientific work of a mathematician, Johann Franz Encke, to help solve the riddle of the motion of this comet.

Observers have a decent opportunity to view the comet in dark skies. It will be low in the west at sunset. The comet will not be visible to the naked eye, but seen through a pair of binoculars and or a telescope.

The comet will appear in the region of the constellation of Pisces and move closer to the sun each day. Look about 15 degrees away from the setting sun.

Get your very own Dr. Sky February star chart.