A recently identified comet has suddenly become visible to the unaided eye.

Comet Neowise, discovered in late March by a space telescope, is going to be visible from anywhere in the UK for the rest of July.

Formally named C/2020 F3, the comet was first spotted by the NEOWISE space telescope on March 27 and will reach its closest point to Earth on July 23.

It is best viewed at about 2.30am in the north-east sky anywhere in the country.

The comet survived its closest approach to the sun late last week and is now making its way closer to Earth before it is expected to return to the outer solar system, according to NASA.

The space agency said the comet has become one of the few “naked-eye comets” of the 21st century after it “suddenly” became visible this week.

“Word spread quickly, and the comet has already been photographed behind many famous sites and cities around the globe,” NASA said in the caption of a photo of Comet NEOWISE passing over Lebanon on Sunday.

Although the future brightness of the comet “remains somewhat uncertain” because there’s still a chance it may break apart and therefore dim, NASA said the comet is likely to continue to be visible in the early morning sky this week and in the early evening sky next week.

For the best chance of seeing it you should find a relatively clear area with low light pollution and few buildings or trees blocking the view.

It is currently showing just below and to the lower left of the bright star Capella in the constellation of Auriga - moving westwards.

By the end of the month the comet will move into Ursa Major and if it remains as bright as it is now then you should see its tail pointing into the Big Dipper.

During its closest approach to Earth the comet will be about 64 million miles away - or about 400 times further away than the Moon.

What is a comet?

Comets are "cosmic snowballs of frozen gases, rock and dust that orbit the Sun", leftover from the formation of the solar system, according to NASA.

Their size can range from a few miles wide to tens of miles wide - but as they orbit closer to the sun, they heat up and spew gases and dust into a glowing head that can be larger than a planet.

As these substances stream off the comet, they form a spectacular gas and dust cloud that tails behind them for millions of miles - and can often be seen from earth with the naked eye.