Comet streaking past Earth, providing spectacular show

Comet streaking past Earth, providing spectacular show

Such comets are extremely rare, and while Neowise doesn't qualify as a "great comet" like Hale-Bopp, it's one of the brightest and most visible comets to pass by the earth in years, after other comets have missed us or not been visible. This week, the comet began making its appearance in the evening sky shortly after sunset. While this usually results in one visible tail, images of Comet NEOWISE, captured by NASA's Parker Solar Probe (PSP) on July 5, 2020, clearly show twin tails. There will be many opportunities to catch glimpses of NEOWISE on film. Now the comet is headed our way, with closest approach in two weeks.

Skywatchers can expect mostly clear skies over the Puget Sound region after the Friday morning clouds and rain dissipate, but some areas along the coast and near the Cascade Mountains might still see lingering cloud coverage Friday night, according to the National Weather Service in Seattle.

Comet NEOWISE is not the only celestial delight in store for stargazers this month.

This is the only chance for us to see the roughly 5-kilometer-(3-mile)-wide comet before it careens away from our planet, not to be seen again for almost seven millennia.

A comet named "Neowise" has lit up the skies, wowing people across the globe.

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

Comet streaking past Earth, providing spectacular show

"This very close passage by the sun is cooking the comet's outermost layers, causing gas and dust to erupt off the icy surface and creating a large tail of debris", NASA said last week.

"Atomic sodium responds to sunlight in a similar way to cometary dust, but its momentum kick comes from a very particular wavelength of yellow light - the same color seen in sodium vapor street lamps", Planetary Science Institute senior scientist Jeffrey Morgenthaler said in a statement.

According to AccuWeather, the best time to view the sky display is in the evening after sunset in the "northwest, just below the Big Dipper". Start checking about 9:30 p.m. for the best viewing.

The comet will be visible across the Northern Hemisphere until mid-August, when it heads back toward the outer solar system. The original story said the comet was discovered in 2009, when it was discovered this year.

On July 5th, NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station (ISS) had front row seats to the ethereal glow of Comet Neowise - which once again for emphasis, only appears once every 6,768 years. Even if you are not into stars and comet, it is time you borrow binoculars and use this lockdown time to dip your toes in space. Behnken tweeted from orbit.

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