Neowise comet now visible in the night sky
The Comet NEOWISE has been dazzling sky-watchers in the northern hemisphere, and should continue to be visible through early August, it has been reported.
Scientists say comets are “cosmic snowballs’’ of frozen gases, rock and dust that orbit the sun. When frozen, they are the size of a small town. When a comet’s orbit brings it close to the sun, it heats up and spews dust and gases into a giant glowing head larger than most planets.
There have only been two other comets visible to the naked eye in the last 23 years - the Hale-Bopp comet in 1997 and the Comet McNaught in 2007.
To see a photo of the comet NEOWISE taken by local resident Bob McBroom go to holtonrecorder.net
Tonight, Wednesday, July 22, the comet will be at its closest to Earth (at 64 million miles. Each night after today, it will be receding from the sun and dimming slightly.
Comet NEOWISE is Earth’s most spectacular comet since 2007 and is now observable low in the northern night sky all night long. It’s a long-period comet that enters the inner solar system only once every 6,800 years or so, scientists say.
Start looking for the comet about an hour after sunset in the northwest sky. It’s located just above the horizon under the “Big Dipper.’’
You can see the comet with your naked eye. For the best possible view, use binoculars.