Sri Lankans will have the opportunity to witness a rare celestial spectacle of the Devil’s Comet, scientifically named 12P/Pons-Brooks, which passes by the Earth once in 71 years. 

The Devil’s Comet will be positioned near the Jupiter, making it visible to the naked eye during the total solar eclipse on April 08.

A rare and massive comet, known for its “horned” shape and has a 71-year orbit, was observed for the first time in 1300 Anno Domini by a group of Chinese astronomers.

However, it was officially recognized after it was observed by the French astronomer Jean-Louis Pons in the 19th century and rediscovered by British American astronomer William Brooks in 1883.

The comet was then officially named as 12P/Pons-Brooks comet.

The massive comet is also known as the “devil comet” due to its formation of two “horns” made up of ice and gas and periodic explosions.

According to NASA, the 18.6-mile-wide ‘Devil’s Comet’ is expected to reach its closest point to the Sun and shine the brightest on the 21st of April.

NASA further added that the “Devil’s Comet” would be located below the moon on the 10th of April, making it visible to the naked eye.

Additionally, in the abrupt absence of sunlight during the total solar eclipse, skywatchers will have a view of the vast sky, dark enough to observe stars, planets and perhaps the Pons-Brooks comet as it travels through the solar system.

This is the fourth time the “Devil’s Comet” appeared since its official discovery in 1812.