Photo: Vasyl Yatsyna/Instagram

A Surprise Comet Is Streaking Across the Sky This Month

News Astronomy
by Eben Diskin Jul 7, 2020

Usually celestial events are very precise and known years, if not decades, in advance. Not so with comet C/2020 F3, also known as NEOWISE. NEOWISE was discovered in late March and is considered a surprise as very few people expected its arrival. And unlike other celestial events, the comet is not a one-off — it will be visible at various times throughout July.

Many have been able to capture incredibly clear images of the comet throughout the world. Amateur landscape photographer Vasyl Yatsyna took a remarkable shot of NEOWISE in Switzerland before dawn today:

Neowise wide field July 7 dawn

Photo: Vasyl Yatsyna/Instagram

In Phoenix, Arizona, Chirag A. Patel went for a hike today at 4:00 AM before dawn to catch a glimpse of the comet and was able to capture this superb image:

Photo: chirag5patel/Instagram

NASA explained that the comet is now coming closer to Earth but its brightness is still uncertain. Starting next week, scan the sky northeast with a pair of binoculars, or with the naked eye, in the early morning (around 3:30 AM), and above the northwest horizon just after sunset, to see if you can spot NEOWISE.

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