Comet Lulin won't be smashing into Earth, but it's going to swing by so closely in late February that you'll be able to see it with binoculars - and maybe even your naked eyes.

This gorgeous photo of Lulin, discovered a little over a year ago, was taken last week at New Mexico's Caldera Rim Observatory by James Maxwell. Stars around the comet look a bit streaky because of the long exposure required to make the greenish comet pop like that - you can even see its tail and anti-tail (in front). According to Sky and Telescope, this photograph is a composite of "24 x 90 second exposures, totaling 36 minutes, tracking the comet."

Advertisement

If you want to find out more about the best times to view Lulin check out Sky and Telescope's article about it.