Skywatchers in the northern hemisphere are being treated to the sight of a newly-discovered comet this month which can be observed even with the naked eye by the lucky ones.
Dubbed C/2020 F3, the comet is also known as NEOWISE after being discovered by NASA’s Near Earth Asteroid Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer telescope on March 27 this year.
The comet made its closest approach to the sun on July 3, 2020, passing at about 43 million km from the sun, which is closer than the average distance between the sun and Mercury. It is now moving away from the sun’s glare, making it more visible from Earth.
Just over the weekend, astronauts Bob Behnken and his Russian colleague Ivan Vagnercaptured images of NEOWISE from the International Space Station and shared them on Twitter.
As of July 7, the comet was easily seen through binoculars, with some observers able to see it with unaided eyes, NASA said on itswebsite. “Through about the middle of the month, the comet is visible around 10 degrees above the northeastern horizon (the width of your outstretched fist) in the hour before dawn. From mid-July on, it’s best viewed as an evening object, rising increasingly higher above the northwestern horizon.”
According to an article inEarthSky.org, NEOWISE will be highest in the dawn sky around July 11. However, from mid-July ( aro