A rare cosmic event is happening at the heavens over the Earth. Neowise, a comet that was only found in March this year, was visible to the naked eye for several days , and will stay so until mid-August.
It’s the brightest comet visible in the Northern Hemisphere in about 25 decades. Its proximity to the Sun caused gas and dust to burn off its surface, making a path of debris.
Seeing the freezing visitor on its trip to the solar system is a truly once in a lifetime chance. It will not be coming back beyond the Earth for about 7,000 decades.
“From the infrared touch we could tell it is about 5 kilometers across, and by mixing the infrared information using visible-light pictures, we could tell the comet’s nucleus is covered with sooty, dim particles leftover from its creation close to the arrival of the solar system 4.6 billion decades back,” explained Joseph Masiero, NEOWISE deputy chief investigator at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory at Southern California.
Star-gazers can place Neowise together with the naked eye in dark skies with minimal if any light pollution, but it’s better seen with binoculars.
Right now (July 13) that the ideal time to see it’s just before sunrise, in a northeasterly direction, according to the Instituto de Astrofísica de Canarias. You are going to have roughly half an hour to view it until daylight blocks it out of view.
In North America, on the flip side, you’ll have to check at a northeasterly direction, close to the Big Dipper, based on NASA. The space agency cautions that comets are possibly the most unpredictable astronomical events so that it isn’t possible to understand how much time it will stay easily visible.
Following July 22, when it’s at its closest point to Earth at a mere 103.5 million kilometers away, the comet will start to vanish from view as it travels off.