Stunning Devil Comet to be visible over Switzerland

Stunning Devil Comet to be visible over Switzerland

After more than 70 years travelling the cosmos, Comet 12 / Pons-Brooks, popularly known as the Devil Comet, will once again be visible to the naked eye in Switzerland. Here’s how you can see the stunning natural phenomenon over the next few days.

Devil Comet to be visible over Switzerland

According to MeteoNews, Comet 12 / Pons-Brooks will be visible in the skies above Swiss cities and cantons from now until early April 2024. During that time, the comet will be passing by Earth, getting as close as 230 million kilometres by June - though by then it will only be visible in the southern hemisphere. While this sounds like quite a distance, it will be close enough to see with the naked eye.

The passing of the Devil Comet is a rare cosmic treat, with the body last passing Earth on June 29, 1954. The comet itself was first discovered by Jean-Louis Pons in 1812, before being rediscovered by William Robert Brooks in the 1880s, hence its double-barrelled name.

When can I see Comet 12 / Pons-Brooks?

According to Star Walk, the best times to see Comet 12 / Pons-Brooks in Switzerland are the nights between now and April 8, 2024. While the Devil Comet will be at its brightest in early April, it should be easiest to spot in late March.

Stargazers will be able to identify the Devil Comet by the famous shimmering green bursts of light it emits as it passes across the night sky.

How to see the Devil Comet in Switzerland

From Switzerland, the best time to see the comet is at dusk, from about 7.30pm in the evening. The comet will emerge from the west around 10 degrees above the horizon - a good rule of thumb is that it should be three hand widths to the left of Jupiter in the night sky. It will then pass through the constellations of Andromeda, Pisces and Aries before disappearing below the horizon at 10.30pm.

While the Devil Comet will be visible to the naked eye, MeteoNews advised stargazers to bring binoculars or even a telescope to see the cosmic treat in all its glory. The weather will of course be a factor, so be sure to pick a day between now and April when the skies are expected to remain clear.

As with meteor showers, to see the comet it's best try to find a place with as little artificial light as possible. This usually means leaving cities and heading to quiet fields, hills or even up mountains.

Jan de Boer


Jan de Boer

Jan studied in York and Sheffield in the UK, obtaining a master's in broadcast journalism and a bachelor's in history. He has worked as a radio DJ, TV presenter, and...

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