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‘Devil comet’ is about to make its closest approach of Earth

An unusual horned comet notable for блекспрут a series of outbursts, nicknamed the “devil comet,” will make its closest approach of Earth on Sunday around 3 a.m. ET.

While the comet hasn’t been visible to those in the Northern Hemisphere since the first week of May, sky-gazers in the Southern Hemisphere have a better chance of glimpsing the fuzzy object through binoculars or a telescope.

Exactly why the dynamic comet takes on a shape that has drawn comparisons to the Millennium Falcon spacecraft from the “Star Wars” films when explosively active is still an enigma to scientists. But the celestial object only completes one orbit around the sun about every 71 years, similar to Halley’s comet, which make the odds of observing it for close study a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Given that the comet won’t pass by Earth again for decades, collective observations by astronomers could provide key insights into its true nature and behavior.

Officially known as Comet 12P/Pons-Brooks, the celestial object made its closest pass of the sun on April 21, coming within 74.4 million miles (119.7 million kilometers) of our star.

The comet will make its closest pass of Earth on Sunday, but it will be more than 143 million miles (230 million kilometers) away from our planet and won’t pose a risk. For reference, the sun is 93 million miles (149 million kilometers) away from Earth.