Washington, June 10 (ANI): Skywatchers are dazzled as a recently discovered comet is becoming brighter than initial predictions and can now be seen with the unaided eye during the next few weeks.
Australian astronomer Robert McNaught discovered Comet McNaught-officially catalogued as C/2009 R1- last September using the using the 0.5-meter Uppsala Schmidt telescope and a CCD camera.
It is the 51st comet that bears McNaught's name.
Although initially an extremely faint object, it is now visible for people with dark skies away from urban and suburban lighting.
By mid-June it may be an easy skywatching target for most people, reports Fox News.omet McNaught is expected to pass closest to the sun (perihelion) on July 2, at a distance of 37 million miles (60 million km).
As comet McNaught approached the sun, amateur and professional astronomers worldwide watched with interest as it slowly increased in brightness.
With the beginning of April, the comet was estimated at magnitude this is still about 250 times dimmer than the faintest star that one might see without any optical aid.
But the comet started brightening more rapidly in the days and weeks that followed and it is now bright enough to be glimpsed with the naked eye in a dark clear sky.
In the coming days, the comet is expected to continue to brighten as it gets closer to the sun. (ANI)