Comet streaking past Earth, providing spectacular show

James Marshall
July 10, 2020

NASA's Neowise infrared space telescope discovered the comet in March.

If you have a chance, take a look at the northeast horizon prior to daybreak each morning through the 11th, then look for the comet in the evening sky starting July 12th about an hour after sunset. Researchers say this is the first time the comet will be passing Earth in 6,800 years.

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.

According to Scientific American, the comet swept past the sun on July 3, before becoming visible to the naked eye.

Scientists involved in the mission said the comet is about 3 miles (5 kilometres) across.

"In its discovery images, C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) appeared as a glowing, fuzzy dot moving across the sky even when it was still pretty far away", said NEOWISE principal investigator Dr. Amy Mainzer, an astronomer at the University of Arizona.

Have you heard about the Comet NEOWISE?

At the moment, it is brighter than Halley's Comet was in 1986. "Even the astronauts aboard the International Space Station spotted it from their vantage point high above Earth's atmosphere".

A video from the ISS of Comet Neowise rising above the Earth has also been released on YouTube.

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.

Using binoculars, viewers will be able to get a good look at the "fuzzy comet" and its long, streaky tail, according to the federal agency.

The comet will start fading away when it starts entering the outer parts of the solar system in August.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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