A comet that will shoot past Earth and the Sun in the coming weeks for the first time in 50,000 years could be visible to the naked eye.

The comet is expected to pass nearest to Earth on February 1 and will be easy to spot with a good pair of binoculars

or even with the naked eye, provided the sky is not too illuminated by city lights or the Moon.It is estimated to have a diameter of about a kilometre.

The comet is made of ice and dust and emits a greenish aura, and is estimated to have a diameter of about a kilometre.

As a fuller Moon could make spotting it difficult, the new Moon during the weekend of January 21-22 offers a good chance for stargazers

The comet was called C/2022 E3 (ZTF) after the California-based Zwicky Transient Facility, which first spotted it passing Jupiter in March last year.

The comet is believed to have come from the Oort Cloud, a theorised vast sphere surrounding the solar system that is home to mysterious icy objects.