C/2020 F3 NEOWISE is the official name of the comet found by astronomers on March 27. They were using a giant space telescope bearing the same name. NEOWISE came close to the Sun in the beginning of July, and now it`s passing near Earth`s orbit, on its way back toward the more distant parts of the solar system.
Astronomers say that it`s the brightest comet visible from Earth`s Northern Hemisphere in the past 25 years. So, don`t miss it – Comet NEOWISE will be visible until the middle of August, according to NASA, and then it will need 6,800 years to return. The comet will be at the closest point to Earth on July 23.
Spectacular images of the comet were captured during the past weeks in Stonehenge, Ireland, even the Rio Grande.
“From its infrared signature, we can tell that it is about 5 kilometers across, and by combining the infrared data with visible-light images, we can tell that the comet’s nucleus is covered with sooty, dark particles left over from its formation near the birth of our solar system 4.6 billion years ago”, explains Joseph Masiero, NEOWISE deputy principal investigator at NASA.
Photo credits: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Naval Research Lab/Parker Solar Probe/Brendan Gallagher