Canberrans are in for a Friday night astronomical treat, with a fuzzy green comet and the best meteor shower in the southern hemisphere set to light up the night sky.
People would only need their eyes to see up to 30 meteors fall an hour over the territory's northern sky from around 11.30pm as part of the Geminid meteor shower, Australian National University astronomer Brad Tucker said.
The Bureau of Meterology has forecast a top of 25 degrees for Friday, with a thunderstorm likely in the morning and afternoon.
But if the clouds clear, a small telescope or binoculars would be all that's needed to see Comet 46/P Wirtanen, known as the Christmas comet, Dr Tucker said.
"You can just see the dot with your own eyes."
The comet's green colour is caused by ice and methane burning off the comet.
"What's happening is the comet is essentially an icy snowball," Dr Tucker said. "As it goes around the sun it essentially melts off. It's melting ice and methane that ends up a green fuzzy colour."
Discovered in 1948, the comet takes 5.4 years to orbit the sun and "slingshots" around Jupiter.
While the comet has been visible for most of December, Friday night will offer the best chance for Canberrans to see the comet near the Orion constellation, better known as the saucepan.
The northern side of Canberra would be the best place to see the comet and meteor shower, to avoid looking over light pollution in the city.
But even a local oval would be a good viewing spot and the brighter meteors will still be visible in the city, Dr Tucker said.
"It's kind of nice it's all [happening on] Friday night. It's your Friday night plans planned," he said.
"Lake George would be magnificent, because there's nothing immediately to the north and east."
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