PITTSFIELD, Mass. — For about 15 minutes after twilight the comet Pan-STARRS will be visible on the horizon.
The comet, discovered in 2011, has been close enough to the earth to be seen with a naked eye since the beginning of the month but it was mostly lost in the sun's glare until now. In the next few days, the comet will be on its way back and will be dimly visible, according to NASA.
Pan-STARRS isn't very bright and will be low on the horizon so residents who want to see it will need a "relatively unobstructed view to the southwest at twilight," according to Amy Mainzer, the principal investigator of NASA's NEOWISE mission at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif.
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration also says there is a tight window for viewing it because the sky will be too bright early in the evenings and the horizon will obstruct views at night. The comet can be seen for only about 15 minutes.
By the end of the month, the comet will be too far away to see.
Pan-STARRS, named for the Panoramic Survey Telescope & Rapid Response System that discovered it, will be the first of two comets visible this year. This fall, NASA predicts the comet ISON will make a pass close enough to viewing. That one could be "spectacular" to see with the naked eye.
Comets are typically only seen without binoculars or telescopes once every five to 10 years.
Source SPACE.com: All about our solar system, outer space and exploration