Newly discovered comet is lighting up Earth’s sky

James Marshall
July 11, 2020

"Through about the middle of the month, the comet is visible around 10 degrees above the northeastern horizon (the width of your outstretched fist) in the hour before dawn", the space agency added.

The new comet can be seen this weekend after sunset, just above the horizon in the northwest as it moves farther from the Sun.

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

Comet Neowise was visible over the United Kingdom on July 7, with photographer Alyn Wallace capturing footage of the icy space phenomenon over the city of Exeter, in the southwest of England.

NASA notes that the comet's closest approach to earth will be on July 22, at a distance of about 64 million miles.

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.

"They're collections of rock and dust, all bound together with frozen ices and gases", he said.

Stargazers in Manitoba can get a glimpse of the brightest comet in years as it hurtles past Earth over the next several days. "Even the astronauts aboard the International Space Station spotted it from their vantage point high above Earth's atmosphere". 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.

The comet will be visible around the world until mid-August, when it heads back toward the outer solar system.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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