A massive ice ball will be visible to sky watchers looking westward tonight.
The comet, named Pan-STARRS, is billions of years old and can be viewed in the Northern Hemisphere between now and March 20. At dusk, the gaseous orbital phenomenon will appear low on the western horizon and then slowly descend out of sight.
It's been 15 years since a comet was last visible in the Northern Hemisphere.
Clear views from the west brows of ridges near Chattanooga should provide ideal viewing. Because of the comet's general lowness on the horizon, trees or buildings will block any chance of seeing it—making a long-range view to the west essential.
Tonight, the comet will appear close to the crescent moon for several minutes.
The image above, shared by Friends of Cloudland Canyon State Park, shows the relationship of the comet to the western horizon just after sunset, by date.
To view some time-lapse videos of what the comet should look like, click here.
The next comet to buzz by Earth will be comet ISON in November. That event promises to be spectacular, as astronomers predict ISON may rival the moon in brightness.