How to catch Neowise, the brightest comet in years, visible now


The name Neowise comes from the space telescope - Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer - that discovered it in March of this year. In images, the comet showed up as a "glowing, fuzzy dot moving across the sky even when it was still pretty far away", according to Amy Mainzer, NEOWISE principal investigator at the University of Arizona.

The comet is now millions of miles from Earth and during its closest approach on July 23 will still be 64 million miles off - approximately 400 times further away than the Moon.

The brightness of comets is notoriously hard to predict and after going round the sun, the comet is now at its most active, but it is set to get closer to Earth and is predicted to appear even brighter in the sky in the next few weeks.

The comet, which has a vivid opulent tail, has been putting on a breathtaking demonstrate in the early hours in advance of sunrise in the Northern Hemisphere.

A photographer in Italy captured the image of a lifetime when he snapped a picture showing two astronomical phenomena, including a streaking comet and "night-shining" clouds.

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NASA said the comet will likely be visible in the early morning skies until July 11. Halley's Comet is a short period comet originating from the Kuiper Belt.

And from "The first good opportunity for evening viewing begins on July 12, when the head of the comet will stand 5 degrees above the north-northwest horizon, 80 minutes after sunset (the end of nautical twilight)". "As shortly as we observed how close it would come to the Solar, we experienced hopes that it would place on a superior exhibit". Online resources like TheSkyLive also offer similar night sky maps to aid your comet quest.

NASA included it will turn out to be even much easier to watch as July carries on, for skywatchers with a clear watch toward the horizon.

C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) should stick around through mid-August, when it makes its way across Earth's orbit into the outer parts of the solar system.

The Comet NEOWISE or C/2020 F3 is seen over Salgotarjan, Hungary, early Friday, July 10, 2020.