Rare Comet ‘Neowise’ Sighting From July 14

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Bhubaneswar: Populace of Odisha and rest of India will witness a rare comet from July 14. The C/2020 F3 NEOWISE, from the Kuiper Belt, was discovered on March 27, 2020.

“From July 14, C/2020 F3, a comet discovered on March 27, will be clearly visible in the north-western sky. It will be visible after sunset for around 20 minutes for the next 20 days. People can observe it from naked eyes,” Deputy Director, Pathani Samanta Planetarium said.

Binoculars or a telescope can enhance its visibility, Pattnaik advised.

Comet Neowise swept within Mercury’s orbit a week ago and now it is streaking past the Earth. Its close proximity to the sun caused dust and gas to burn off its surface and create an even bigger debris tail. Now the comet is headed our way, with closest approach in two weeks.

NASA’s Neowise infrared space telescope discovered the comet in March.

Scientists involved in the mission said the comet is about 3 miles (5 kilometers) across. Its nucleus is covered with sooty material dating back to the origin of our solar system 4.6 billion years ago.

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