Surviving perihelion 0.29 AU (43 million km) from the Sun, C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) or Comet Neowise has been spotted across the world throughout July and is now making its way towards the sky above India. The Indians are in for a dazzling visual treat as Comet NEOWISE will be soon be seen crossing the July night sky. Also Read - India's COVID-19 Tally Climbs to 78.14 Lakh; Recovery Rate Nears 90 Per Cent | Key Points
The rare spectacular comet has been named after the space telescope that first observed the comet in March, NASA’s Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer. The telescope spotted Comet Neowise on July 03 again after its outer layers got scorched on coming in close vicinity of the Sun. Also Read - International Flights: 18 Destinations Where Indians Can Fly to; Countries Where Indians Can't Enter | Check Full List
While the comet was being lost to the glare of the Sun by June 10, 2020, the astronauts, cosmonauts and others spotted the rare sight on July 03, 2020 and shared spectacular pictures of the same. Erupting in dust, gas and debris from its icy mass, Comet Neowise still retained its fiery mass as it surrounded the Earth and lit up the skies like firework above Canada on July 08 and over Mount Washington on July 14, 2020. The comet is expected to disappear by mid-August. Also Read - International Flights: Air India to Operate Seven Flights a Week to This Country From Delhi, Bengaluru | Deets Here
Joe Masiero, deputy principal investigator of NEOWISE telescope, was quoted by space.com saying, “If you’re in the Northern Hemisphere, you can see it. As the next couple of days progress, it will get higher in the evening sky, so you’re going to want to look northwest right under the Big Dipper.”
The comet has a fuzzy tail, which according to NASA is created when dust lifts off the surface of the comet’s nucleus and trails behind while the gases that have been ionized by losing electrons in the sun’s intense light form the upper ion tail. As per a report in Hindustan Times, Comet Neowise will be visible to the naked eye of sky-gazers in India on July 22 and July 23 around sunset.
A much clearer view is promised if viewed using binoculars or a small telescope. As per the experts, it is after the first stars start appearing that Comet Neowise can be viewed in its spectacular form. This will reportedly appear after waiting for 45 minutes after sunset.