News & Press: Natural world

Neowise comet visible

13 July 2020   (0 Comments)
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The very large comet should be visible from the northern hemisphere for the rest of July.

Comet C/2020 F3, ‘Neowise’, was discovered by NASA's Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) satellite in March. It is thought to be an iceberg about 3 miles (5km) across, covered with sooty, dark particles from its formation at around the birth of our solar system 4.6 billion years ago. At its closest on 23 July, it will be at a range of ~64 million miles (~103 million km).

In the northern hemisphere, the comet and its tail of dust and ice should be visible to the naked eye for the remainder of July during the hours of darkness. From typical UK latitudes it should be low in the sky towards the north. It is unlikely to return to its current position for ~6,800 years.

Further details and image from NASA