Appearing to stab the heart of the constellation Scorpius, a new comet has allegedly brightened enough to see without binoculars. That's the theory.

Despite the fact that Comet Levy sits within range of visibility, the urban and suburban lights wash the heavens with sufficient illumination to make it hard to find. To see Comet Levy, a viewer should wait for sunset and use binoculars or a small telescope.

Levy has just passed the teapot in Sagittarius and now resides in the heart of Scorpius, very low in the south-southwestern sky. Not one to stay around for long, Comet Levy is now making a dash for the southern hemisphere. The next several days will virtually be the last to find it.

"It's a big, fuzzy blob," said Geoff Chester, of the Einstein Planetarium. But, Comet Levy is the brightest comet seen in the northern hemisphere since Comet Iras-Araki-Alcock in 1983. That comet peaked at second magnitude, in astronomical terms bright enough to see from suburbs.

Comet Levy peaked around third magnitude. Currently it is about fourth magnitude, according to the International Astronomical Union, in Cambridge, Mass.

"It's a great one for around here," Chester said. "Especially after the {Comet} Austin debacle. Obviously, Halley had a lot more glitz and because of that more people saw it. Halley was different. Its tail was developed better."

Comets are eccentric, notorious for their unpredictability. Last spring, Comet Austin teased northern hemisphere astronomers with expectant brightness. Without much ado, it fizzled.Chester said that since Levy is a more solid type of comet, it won't sputter.