Comet Neowise makes an appearance in our skies

10 Juillet, 2020, 21:09 | Auteur: Therese Cote
  • Comet NEOWISE Now Visible to the Unaided Eye | Astronomy

Atop the almost 11,500 foot-high Hochfeiler mountain in the South Tyrol Alps in Italy, Martin Rietze captured the image of the NEOWISE comet and the Noctilucent clouds, SWNS reports.

The NEOWISE comet seen above noctilucent clouds taken from the Hochfeiler mountain in the South Tyrol alps in Italy on July 8.

The icy, near-earth object, whose official name is Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE, closely approached the sun on July 3 and will pass by Earth at a distance of 64 million miles on its route back to the outer parts of the solar system this month, according to the National Aeronautics and Space Administration.

CTV Winnipeg has reached out to the Manitoba Museum for more information.

The comet's nucleus is a 3-mile wide "dirty snowball" left over from the formation of the solar system about 4.6 billion years ago, said astrophysicist Karl Battams of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, who studies comets that near the Sun. Sharing a still image of the comet to Facebook on July 7, he wrote that it was his "first time photographing a comet with a tail". Comet NEOWISE is a binocular object.

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At the moment, it is brighter than Halley's Comet was in 1986.

But the new comet has already been seen by observers around the world and by astronauts on the International Space Station.

Comet Neowsie is not expected to grow as bright as a "great comet", such as Hale-Bopp in 1997, but it's one of the brightest this century, outshone only by Comet McNaught in 2007.

While it's visible with the naked eye in dark skies with little or no light pollution, binoculars are needed to see the long tail, according to NASA.

"People wishing to catch a glimpse of the glowing comet can spot it as it swings through the inner solar system, but its nearness to the Sun creates some observing challenges", NASA astronomers said.

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