Comet Neowise at Night

General, Photo

Can you believe we didn’t even know this comet existed until less than 4 months ago? And now we won’t see it again for 6700 years! C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) or Comet NEOWISE is a retrograde comet with a near-parabolic orbit discovered on March 27, 2020, by astronomers during the NEOWISE mission of the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) space telescope. Under dark skies, it can be clearly seen with the naked eye and might remain visible to the naked eye throughout most of July 2020, at least until July 23, the point of the comet’s closest approach to Earth at a distance of 0.69 AU (103 million km; 64 million mi). Comet NEOWISE made its closest approach to the Sun (perihelion) on July 3, 2020, at a distance of 0.29 AU (43 million km; 27 million mi). This passage increases the comet’s orbital period from about 4400 years to about 6700 years.

24mm 6s f/1.8