Okanagan astronomers delighted with comet NEOWISE: “This is a very rare opportunity” – Okanagan


A cosmic visitor, Comet NEOWISE, has astronomers and astronomers very excited about the night sky.“It’s going at a pretty fast speed. It spins tens of kilometers per second orbiting the sun, but when you look at it in the sky, you don’t see any movement, ”said JJ Kavelaars, National Research Council astronomer.

“It’s going so fast. It is faster than anything you see on earth but we are so far away that we can barely perceive its movement.

NEOWISE is now moving away from Earth’s orbit, but it can easily be found as long as you wake up late enough.

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If you look just below the Big Dipper near the horizon, you can see it.

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“It’s a very rare opportunity in a lifetime to be able to see something like this,” said photographer Nicole Howell.

“It’s amazing to see something so clearly and differently from what you can see with the naked eye.”

Howell set up his camera on a tripod to take 1,000 photos every 18 seconds overnight to track the movement of the comet across the sky.

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“NEOWISE is about five kilometers in diameter and is a giant snowball that has likely formed around the area where Jupiter or Saturn is today,” Kavelaars said.

“(It) has been circling the sun for four billion years. It is evaporating now.

Kavelaars predicts that we will be able to see the comet for another week as it moves away from the sun.

Comet NEOWISE is the first since Hale-Bopp in 1997 bright enough to be seen from your backyard. The next comet that will be visible cannot yet be predicted.

How to get an overview of NEOWISE

How to get an overview of NEOWISE

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