Comet NEOWISE visible for the next week

Pablo Tucker
February 1, 2021

The pandemic raging across planet Earth has made exciting news rare.

As Comet NEOWISE begins to dazzle the evening skies, the public and media can pose their astronomy questions to a panel of experts from NASA, JPL, and the NEOWISE mission. "Stars, cities, spaceships, and a comet!"

Comets are cosmic snowballs of frozen gases, rock and dust that orbit the Sun in a highly elliptical path. When frozen, comets can be the size of a small town measuring up to a few hundred kilometers. What makes it even more so is that most comets plunge directly into the Sun and disintegrate into dust. The current number of known comets is: 3,650.

On March 27th, 2020 another comet was discovered and named NEOWISE.

That's probably true, as it isn't expected to pass Earth again for 6,800 years. On Sunday, July 19, 2020, about 45 minutes before sunrise, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and a attractive crescent moon will all be visible simultaneously, without the need for a telescope! "This very close passage by the Sun is cooking the comet's outermost layers, causing gas and dust to erupt off the icy surface and creating a large tail of debris", NASA said, according to CNN. "And yet the comet has managed to survive this intense roasting", the statement said.

Observers all over the world are racing to see the natural fireworks display before the comet speeds away into the depths of space.

Since being discovered in March, Neowise has been spotted by several NASA spacecraft, including Parker Solar Probe, NASA's Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory, the ESA/NASA Solar and Heliospheric Observatory, and astronauts aboard the International Space Station.

Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) in the predawn skies on July 9, 2020, over Deer Valley, Utah.

Experts say people in the Northern Hemisphere - the part of Earth above the equator - should look toward the northwestern sky, just below the "Big Dipper" star group.

Skynews reports this week the comet is heading in a northwesterly direction from our point of view on Earth, making it easily visible during the post-sunset and pre-dawn periods.

"Around July 30 the comet will be visible near Ursa Major, which is also the Saptarshi Mandal at a height of 40 degrees and will be visible for an hour".

These days, Brar says the name of the human or the satellite who discovered the comet will be its namesake.

To capture NEOWISE on your own, search up at the northwest skies about an hour and a fifty percent after sunset. Gurus counsel likely to the darkest area you can for finest viewing. From now until July 23 the comet will get dimmer, and you'll need to look for it with binoculars or a telescope, preferably in a place without much light pollution.

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