How to see the comet NEOWISE, the most spectacular comet on Earth since 2007

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From time to time, large frozen objects pass through the inner solar system.

As they get closer to the Sun, the ice sublimes, emitting volatile gases.

Dust and ions are blown out, creating spectacular cometary tails.

From Earth, these comets generally appear the brightest on the closest approach.

Comets bright with the naked eye are rare, Hale-Bopp from 1997 being our most recent “great comet”.

Since then, only the 2007 McNaught comet has been comparable, primarily to observers in the southern hemisphere.

But in July 2020, comet NEOWISE will present the largest comet show on Earth in 13 years.

With an orbital period of 6800 years, it appeared for the last time before the invention of the wheel.

On July 3, 2020, he reached perihelion, surviving a perilous encounter with the Sun.

Since then, he has honored our pre-dawn sky, but the relative movement changes everything.

On July 12/13, 2020, the comet NEOWISE finally becomes visible after sunset.

Although it is brighter than all stars, with the exception of around 20, its wide and diffuse nature makes it a challenge for human eyes.

It is easier to locate first with binoculars, under the Big Dipper in the northwest sky.

It will peak on July 23: reaching its closest approach to Earth.

For many observers of the sky, it is already the best comet of humanity since 1997.


Mostly Mute Monday tells an astronomical story in images, visuals and no more than 200 words. Talk less; smile more.

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