(FOX 46 CHARLOTTE) - Stargazers are in for an early gift this holiday season.
No, it's not a certain man dressed in red and eight tiny reindeer. But if you turn your eyes to the night sky on Sunday, December 16, 2018, you'll have a chance at a glimpse of Comet 46P/Wirtanen.
The comet, which was discovered in 1948 by Carl Wirtanen, an astronomer, will be about 7,199,427 miles away from Earth. That's actually pretty close as far as comets go. In fact, this comet is the 20th closest approach by a comet during the past 12 centuries, according to Space.com.
The comet reaches its closest point to the sun on Dec. 13, and will be at its brightest on Dec. 16, the evening before it makes its closest approach to Earth Dec. 16. Some spots across the country will have a better chance at seeing it than others. The comet can best be seen by the naked eye if the skies are very dark, but for the best view, use binoculars or a telescope.
However, if you live in a highly-lit area, there’s another option, too. The Virtual Telescope Project will be live streaming the comet’s visit at 5 p.m. EST. Click here to watch it.