This Christmas you'll see more than Santa and his 8 tiny reindeer flying through the night sky. The brightest comet of the year is passing by too.

The Wirtanen comet will be one of the 10 closest to Earth since 1950 and 20th closest since the 9th century, according to EarthSky. You may need binoculars or a telescope to see it but it could be visible with the naked eye.

How bright will the comet get? No one knows for certain. Comets are unpredictable by their nature. Estimates indicate Wirtanen might reach a visual magnitude of 3.5 to 6. That would place the comet clearly in the realm of visibility with the unaided eye (although diffuse objects like comets are tougher to see than the pinpoints of stars at comparable magnitudes).

How big will it get? "It might be as big as the apparent diameter of the moon or even bigger."

You can also looks through the Virtual Telescope on December 12 and 16 Dec. 2018, at 22:00 UTC, when it will be close to its maximum brightness.

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