COMET Leonard has dazzled stargazers throughout December and now is the public's last chance to take a glimpse at the cosmic wonder before it vanishes forever.
Astronomers anticipate that the comet will make its closest approach to the Sun on January 3 before it is ejected from the Solar System indefinitely, if it survives the star's radiation.
Local astronomer Dr Graeme White said that while the comet is visible to the naked eye, those still searching for the best viewpoint should venture away from suburban areas.
"Preferably to the southwest, and preferably somewhere with a bit of a hill and some way with a very clear, western horizon," he said.
"I'm still hunting around trying to find some way which is, shall we say better."
Dr White is encouraging all who can to journey into the dark and gaze upon the rare spectacle with astronomers themselves 'twitchy' about the comet's appearance.
For amateur astrophotographers, he recommends a good camera and long exposure after photographing the comet for himself in Yathella.
"There's a fair bit of hard work gone into getting that image," he said
"That exposure by the way is 256 frames... for a total exposure time of about 20 minutes."
Comet Leonard was first discovered a year ago by astronomer Greg Leonard and endeavoured closest to the Earth on December 12.
It is visible across both the hemispheres and although visible to the naked eye, is best seen through a small telescope or binoculars on a clear night.
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Hayley grew up in Carabost, 45 minutes south-east of Wagga. She graduated with a Bachelor of Journalism from the University of Wollongong in 2020 before launching her career at The Daily Advertiser. You can find her covering events, entertainment and human interest. Email: email@example.com
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