One of universe's biggest, brightest comets to paint skies green this week

Last Updated: Wed, Jun 16, 2010 08:50 hrs

Comet McNaught's green glow is set to light the early morning skies most visibly this week before it gets too close to the sun to see, according to experts.

One of the universe's biggest and brightest, Comet McNaught last made a spectacular appearance in January 2007.

This week the comet will reach peak brightness through June 16 as it makes its closest approach to Earth, at about 170 million kilometers away.

Comet McNaught is already visible to the naked eye as a faint, fuzzy ball low in the northeastern sky and will be best seen in the hour before the sun rises, according to Anthony Cook, an astronomical observer at LA's Griffith Observatory.

"Because it has a hazy outline, it should be observed from as far away from light pollution as possible," National Geographic quoted Cook, as saying.

"Between now and the 24th of June, it's visible in a moon-free sky, but after the 26th it will be too close to the sun to see," he added.

Comet McNaught is named after the Australian astronomer who first spotted it in September 2009. (ANI)