If spending more time stargazing is one of your resolutions this year, it could not have come at a better time. A comet called "Lovejoy", or C/2014 Q2, if you want to scientific about it, will be passing the earth in visible distance as it orbits the sun.

Lovejoy is already visible to the naked eye in some areas, but will be closest to Earth on 7 January (Wednesday) at a distance of 44 million miles.

It will, however, be the brightest two weeks after 7 January as moving closer to the sun will heat it up creating a tail of vaporized dust and ice. During this period, it will be visible to the naked eye even in the crowded, polluted cities.

The chart from NASA shows Lovejoy's position in the orbit as on 7 January 2015.

Comet lovejoy
Comet Lovejoy trajectory mapped by NASA.NASA

How to see comet C/2014 Q2

Regardless of where you are stationed, comet Lovejoy is clearly visible on every night for a few hours after the sun sets. It is best to try and view the comet around 9 pm, so that it will be relatively high above the horizon.

Over the course of the month, C/2014 Q2 will keep moving higher up in the sky, taking it farther from the horizon for most people trying to view from the northern hemisphere.

To view it on 5 and 6 January, binoculars or telescopes will be required; unless you live in a place with very little pollution. Using these devices will give you a dramatic vision of Lovejoy as it grows brighter by the day.

Owing to both less interference from the moonlight and the increasing brightness of the comet's tail, it would be far more visible from mid to late January.

The comet was first spotted in August by Terry Lovejoy, an Australian amateur astronomer, and wasn't originally predicted to be easily visible. Being a long-period comet it has a highly elliptical orbit that takes it far out to the outer reaches of the solar system, then back in towards the sun, over long periods of time.

The brilliant hue of green left by the comet streaking across the universe has inspired many an artist to click photos. 

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