The National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Parker Solar Probe has managed to capture a photo which was able to catch a glimpse of the NEOWISE comet as well as its distinctive twin tails.
The organisation aims to study and know more about the Sun's outer atmosphere and the solar wind released by it. The snap was shot during the fifth flyby.
Sharing the raw photo on the Internet, NASA on Twitter said, "Need a new perspective? #ParkerSolarProbe saw comet #NEOWISE from its unique position in space on July 5, giving scientists a good look at the comet’s dual tails."
In a subsequent tweet, the space organisation also shared a better quality image of the same.
Need a new perspective? #ParkerSolarProbe saw comet #NEOWISE from its unique position in space on July 5, giving scientists a good look at the comet’s dual tails. More: https://t.co/LO4aiRkiV9 pic.twitter.com/nEUT46jT3h— NASA Sun & Space (@NASASun) July 10, 2020
Elaborating upon what NEOWiSE actually looks like, NASA in its statement asserted that the lower tail, which appears broad and fuzzy, is the dust tail of comet NEOWISE.
According to a statement released by NASA, NEOWISE is created when dust lifts off the surface of the comet’s nucleus and goes behind the comet in its orbit.
The upper tail segment of the tail is the ion tail. This ion tail consists of gases that have been ionized by losing electrons in the Sun’s intense light.
The statement also added, "Parker Solar Probe’s images appear to show a divide in the ion tail. This could mean that comet NEOWISE has two ion tails, in addition to its dust tail, though scientists would need more data and analysis to confirm this possibility."