A rare comet currently visible in the night sky over British Columbia

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A Washington man shares beautiful photos of a rare comet visible in the night sky of British Columbia this month.Whatcom County meteorologist Randy Small spotted the comet NEOWISE over Abbotsford around 3:15 a.m. Saturday morning.

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Astronomer Rachel Wang of the HR Macmillan Space Center in Vancouver said that NEOWISE is a rare comet, on a massive “near parabolic” orbit.

This means that it only appears in the Earth’s sky once every several thousand years – compared to Haley’s comet, whose orbit brings it within range every 75 to 76 years.










New NEOWISE comet brightening the sky early in the morning


New NEOWISE comet brightening the sky early in the morning

“It comes from outside our solar system, it enters and flies. It has just approached the nearest sun on July 3, ”she said.

“It is heading for the closest approach to Earth around July 22, then it will launch out and leave our solar system.

“So it’s really a unique comet to discover. “

Read more:

How to see the comet once a decade NEOWISE in Canada

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Comet NEOWISE owes its name to the NEOWISE spacecraft which discovered it in March.

Wang says that NEOWISE is currently visible in the morning before dawn when looking northeast, but as it gets closer to Earth, it will become visible after dusk in the northwest.

She said it is currently visible in the Auriga constellation, which can be found by following the star Capella – the second brightest star in the night sky.

“When I went out last night, I could see it with the naked eye looking at the comet and looking at it slightly to the right or to the left, using my peripheral vision,” she said.

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“Of course, a pair of binoculars makes everything a lot easier, and using long exposure on a camera can increase the brightness a bit. ”

Ironically, Wang says the comet will become less bright as it gets closer to Earth, which means that interested star observers will want to get out sooner rather than later to get a glimpse.

Comets are frozen gas and dust balls, or “dirty snowballs,” says Wang. Their distinctive visible tails are caused by pieces of the comet that come off and are left in their wake.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.



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