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Neowise comet streaks past Earth providing a stunning nighttime show. Check pics

The NEOWISE comet has been providing a stunning nighttime show since it was first discovered on March 27, 2020, making the sky gazers spellbound. NASA's Neowise infrared space telescope discovered the comet first and scientists claimed that it is about 3 miles (5 kilometers) across

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New Delhi Published on: July 11, 2020 14:44 IST
Neowise comet streaks past Earth providing a stunning nighttime show. Check pics
Image Source : TWITTER/@JPEREZ1690,@JLUCDAUVERGNE

Neowise comet streaks past Earth providing a stunning nighttime show. Check pics

Comet Neowise, or C/20202 F3, which happens to be the brightest comet, has been streaking past the Earth in the Northern Hemisphere sky after it swept within Mercury's orbit a week ago. The comet has been providing a stunning nighttime show since it was first discovered on March 27, 2020, making the sky gazers spellbound. NASA's Neowise infrared space telescope discovered the comet first and scientists claimed that it is about 3 miles (5 kilometers) across.

As per NASA, "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. From mid-July on, it’s best viewed as an evening object, rising increasingly higher above the northwestern horizon. The comet takes about 6,800 years to make one lap around its long, stretched out orbit, so it won’t visit the inner solar system again for many thousands of years."

With each passing day, the NEOWISE, short form for Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, is headed towards us making its appearance more visible. People will be able to see it around the world until mid-August when it heads back toward the outer solar system. 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.

Astronauts aboard the International Space Station have already caught a glimpse. NASA's Bob Behnken had shared a spectacular photo of the comet on social media late Thursday, showing central Asia in the background and the space station in the foreground. "Stars, cities, spaceships, and a comet!" he tweeted from orbit.

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