If celestial bodies like comets make you excited about the depth and the unexplored secrets of the universe, brace yourself for another comet show that is going to occur this month. This comet, first discovered through the NEOWISE (Near Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer) space telescope, has also been named after the telescope and cataloged as C/2020 F3.
Located around 194 million miles (312 million kilometers) from the sun, the comet is soon going to make its closest approach to the Earth in July 2020. While the NEOWISE comet is really faint, the upcoming event will let the skywatchers to gaze at its appearance with naked eyes.
On July 3, the comet approached the sun, passing at a distance of about 43 million. It has now started moving towards the Earth, and astronauts expect the comet to make its closest appearance to Earth on July 22.
The comet will pass at a distance of about 103 million kilometres from our planet. If you wish to see the comet in the next 12 days, all you need is a pair of binoculars and the exact spot of the passing, which can be figured out using specialized smartphone apps with interactive maps of the constellations.
The object can also be seen through naked eyes; however, it will be really faint. For a better view, gazers are advised to use a pair of binoculars. Make sure to watch this comet this year, as it is making its movement towards the outer solar system and will not be visible before a long gap.
Some people are also sharing photos on Twitter:
Neowise Comet location: San Francisco pic.twitter.com/QFXYDNFNcd— elisabeth (@paradigms5) July 9, 2020
Comet C/2020 F3 #NEOWISE ☄️Taken this morning from suburban Nevada. Definitely felt like a weird guy standing on the street with my camera and tripod at 4am in front of strangers' houses but it was entirely worth it! pic.twitter.com/eXHOpoPg07— brian fulda (@brianfulda) July 8, 2020
Comet NEOWISE and the city of Toronto, Ontario, Canada ! I was up really early for this shot. It's not often that we get the opportunity to see or photograph a comet of this brightness and with a tail. I hope you like it! https://t.co/BFyxFFw2DE pic.twitter.com/sGZBiEVryM— Kerry LH (@weatherandsky) July 5, 2020
As NASA advised, “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.”