Comet Neowise, a newly discovered comet is streaked past Earth, providing a stunning nighttime show after buzzing the sun and expanding its tail.
NASA’s Neowise infrared space telescope discovered the comet in March. The brightest comet visible from the Northern Hemisphere in a quarter-century, swept within Mercury’s orbit a week ago.
Its close proximity to the sun caused dust and gas to burn off its surface and create an even bigger debris tail. Now the comet is headed our way, with closest approach in two weeks.
Scientists involved in the mission said the comet is about three miles (five kilometers) across. Its nucleus is covered with sooty material dating back to the origin of our solar system 4.6 billion years ago.
The comet will be visible across the Northern Hemisphere until mid-August, when it heads back toward the outer solar system.
While it’s visible with the naked eye in dark skies with little or no light pollution, binoculars are needed to see the long tail, according to NASA.
It will be about 7,000 years before the comet returns.
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In This Story: NASA
The National Aeronautics and Space Administration is an independent agency of the U.S. Federal Government responsible for the civilian space program, as well as aeronautics and space research. NASA was established in 1958, succeeding the National Advisory Committee for Aeronautics.