Home school astronomy class just got a lot more exciting.

Astronomers discovered a comet in December of 2019 that hasn't been spotted in 4,000 years, and just this past week they watched it break into 25 pieces via the Hubble Telescope.

In mid-March the Comet Atlas started to abruptly dim and, as ATLAS later confirmed, its icy core started to break apart and disintegrate 91 million miles (146 million kilometers) from Earth.

Even though this comet is breaking apart, it will still be visible to earth, through a telescope or a pair of binoculars. If it hadn't broken up it would have been visible with the naked eye.

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This comet is visible in Minnesota through June 2020, and the closest it is coming to Earth will be on May 23rd. The comet is expected to be within 72 million miles of our planet.

The Yorkshire Post gave some tips on spotting the comet in the sky:

Look to the Northern sky. The comet should appear between the Plough and the planet Venus, easily the brightest object in the night sky at the moment other than the moon.

I have an app on my phone called SkyView that points out constellations in the night sky by holding your phone up. I have the free version and it works just fine, if you want to level up you can purchase it for $1.99, but the free version should work for pointing you in the direction of this comet. Have fun comet spotting!

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