Photo of the day: a look at the comet NEOWISE from Earth and from space


Photo of the day: a look at the comet NEOWISE from  Earth and from space

The state corporation Roskosmos has presented a series of photographs showing the comet C / 2020 F3 (NEOWISE), discovered quite recently – in March this year.


The body was discovered using the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer infrared telescope. The comet moves in an almost parabolic orbit. It leaves behind a plume of two tails at once: the first consists of dust particles and stretches along the comet’s orbit, and the second, narrower, is formed of ions.

On July 3, 2020, the comet passed perihelion, being at the minimum distance from the Sun – 0.29 astronomical units. It will approach the Earth the day after tomorrow, July 23, passing at a distance of 103.5 million km.

In the first two images, Comet NEOWISE is captured from the International Space Station (ISS) against a background of noctilucent clouds. These photographs were taken by Roscosmos cosmonaut Ivan Wagner.

The third picture was taken by an experimental optical station in the city of Kislovodsk. In this image, two tails can be seen trailing behind the body.

Note that the next time the comet will return to the Sun only after several thousand years – the aphelion of its orbit is located at a distance of 500-700 astronomical units from our star. 



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