Comet NEOWISE will be visible in India for 20 days, says Odisha planetarium scientist. Check the dates - Hindustan Times
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Comet NEOWISE will be visible in India for 20 days, says Odisha planetarium scientist. Check the dates

Hindustan Times, New Delhi | Byhindustantimes.com | Edited by Anubha Rohatgi
Jul 12, 2020 03:57 PM IST

Comet NEOWISE can be observed in the north-western sky from July 14, and that too, with naked eyes, according to the deputy director of Pathani Samanta Planetarium in Odisha’s Bhubaneswar.

Comet C/2020 F3, better known as NEOWISE, is being talked about a lot lately as it continues to dazzle sky watchers and astronomy buffs with its brilliance.

Comet Neowise soars in the horizon of the early morning sky seen from near the grand view lookout at the Colorado National Monument west of Grand Junction, Colo., Thursday, July 9, 2020.(Photo Credit: Conrad Earnest via AP)
Comet Neowise soars in the horizon of the early morning sky seen from near the grand view lookout at the Colorado National Monument west of Grand Junction, Colo., Thursday, July 9, 2020.(Photo Credit: Conrad Earnest via AP)

The good news for those of us here in India wanting to observe the comet is that the wait is over!

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NEOWISE can be observed in the north-western sky from July 14, and that too, with naked eyes, according to the deputy director of Pathani Samanta Planetarium in Odisha’s Bhubaneswar.

“From July 14, C/2020 F3 will be clearly visible in the north-western sky. It will be visible after sunset for around 20 minutes for the next 20 days. People can observe it with naked eyes,” Dr. Subhendu Pattnaik told news agency ANI.

 

NEOWISE, which was visible in the hour before dawn sky till about the middle of the month, can be best viewed as an evening object from mid-July onwards, according to NASA.

“A far better viewing perspective will be available in the evening sky starting around July 14, when it will appear low in the northwest sky (20 degrees from the horizon) for around 20 minutes. In the evenings to follow, the comet will rapidly climb higher in the sky and will be visible for a longer period,” said Dr. Pattnaik

He recommended a pair of binoculars to have a better viewing experience.

“Around 30th July it can be seen near Ursha Major (Saptarshi Mandal) at an altitude of 40 degrees and will be visible for an hour. After July it will fade away very fast and will not be visible to the unaided eye. A pair of binoculars or a small telescope will enhance its visibility,” he told ANI.

Discovered in March this year by NASA’s NEOWISE mission, NEOWISE will make its closest approach to Earth on July 22 when it will be at a distance of about 103 million kilometres from our planet.

It is already headed back toward the outer solar system. So, catch a glimpse of this rare celestial phenomenon and share the photos on social media just like astronaut Bob Behnken recently did from the International Space Station.

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