HOW TO SEARCH FOR COMETS
A comet can appear anywhere in the sky. In 1995, Alan Hale and Tom Bopp found Comet Hale-Bopp when they both happened to be looking at Messier 70, a globular star cluster in Sagittarius. Most comets, however, brighten only when they are near the Sun, and appear either in the western sky after dusk or in the eastern sky before dawn.
Through a telescope, most comets look like fuzzy stars or galaxies. The best way to search for them is to move your telescope slowly—about one field every few seconds—in either an up-and-down or a left-to-right motion. Many comet-like objects will be visible, but a star atlas will usually identify them as galaxies, star clusters, or nebulas.