April Fools' Comet to pass closest to earth Since discovery and this is no joke

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washington : It might be streaming by on April Fools' Day, but this comet is no holiday prank. A comet, being playfully called the April Fool's Day comet, is set to make its closest approach to Earth in more than a century on Saturday, NASA has said. Officially named 41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák will make its closest flyby of Earth since its discovery in 1858. The comet will zoom past at a safe distance of around 13.2 million miles, about 50 times the moon’s distance

While the comet will be closest Saturday, you can get a peek in the days before and after. "Amateur astronomers with small telescopes are already watching, and more people will see the comet in the coming days," EarthSky.org said.

41P/Tuttle-Giacobini-Kresák will be in the far northern sky, meaning stargazers in the Northern Hemisphere can see it for much of the night. 

The comet is not particularly large — less than a mile in diameter .Fortunately, the thin crescent moon won't hinder skywatchers as it will sink in the western sky after sunset Saturday, NASA said.

Comets are named for their discoverers. This one carries all three names of the astronomers who separately found it in 1858, 1907 and 1951. In 1951, with its third "discovery," astronomers finally realized the three comets of 1858, 1907 and 1951 were all the same.

This comet "belongs to a group of comets know as 'Jupiter comets'," according to Slooh.com. "These are comets that have been captured by the gravity of Jupiter, forcing them in an orbit that takes them between the sun and the gas giant," Slooh.com said.