Neowise Comet – Even if you are not into stars and comets, don’t waste your time and grab your binoculars because there is something which you have not seen before in so many years. A comet identified and named by Nasa as ‘C/2020 F3 NEOWISE’ is going to pass the earth.
Let’s have a small summary of the comet:
Comets are the cosmic snowballs of frozen gases, rock, and dust which rotate near the sun in a highly compact path. When the comet is frozen, it can be the size of a small town that measures up to a few hundred kilometers. When a comet gets close to the sun, the comet heats up and gets melted therefore letting go of dust and gases into Sun.
The comet gets extended from the sun for about millions of kilometers in the opposite directions. There are over billions of comets orbiting our sun in the Kuiper belt and even more faraway Oort Cloud. The current number of comets that are there in the orbit is around 3,650.
What is NEOWISE Comet?
Nasa‘s Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) mission was discovered as an icy- visitor on 27 March 2020. This C/2020 F3 NEOWISE comet made it’s approach one in a lifetime on 3 July 2020 on Sunday, and it will cross the earth’s orbit on it’s way back to the outer parts of the Solar system by the middle of August 2020.
How can the NEOWISE comet watch?
From 14 July, the comet will be visible by the evening and can also be seen with naked eyes. People who are watching this comet from India, look at the northwestern sky-20 degrees from the horizon, after the sun goes away. The comet will be visible every evening for about 20 minutes for the next 20 days before the comet reached a distance from where you can not see it.
Around 30 July, it can be seen near Saptarashi Mandal (Ursa Major) at an altitude of 40 degrees and it can be visible for an hour or more. After the July month ends it will no longer be visible by naked eyes. If you use a binocular to see, you will see the tail of the comet.
It is expected to come closest to Earth on 22-23 July. The comet got closet to the Sun, at 43 million km on 3 July. The comet which takes 6,800 years to complete one lap around its orbit, will be at a distance of 64 million miles of 103 million kilometers while crossing Earth’s outside orbit.