A new comet visiting from the most distant parts of our solar system is all the rage, and astronomers say it may end up ranking as one of the brightest comets seen in our skies in decades.
The comet – called C/2020 F3 NEOWISE – was first spotted hurling towards the sun in late March. It actually soared past the sun on July 3 and has since become visible to the naked eye – if you know where to look.
According to NASA, the comet, which is about 5 kilometres across, is expected to cross outside Earth’s orbit on its way back to the outer part of the solar system by mid-August.
HOW TO WATCH THE NEOWISE COMET
STARTING JULY 12: Comet NEOWISE will race past the sun and start to become visible in the evening instead of early morning. You’re going to want to look near the northwestern horizon to get a look.
As the month progresses, the comet should rise higher in the sky, moving towards constellation Lynx toward the Big Dipper.
AROUND JULY 22: Comet NEOWISE should reach its closet point to Earth, but it’s uncertain if the comet will be visible to the naked eye at this point.
On any given night, you'll need a little luck with good weather to see the comet. You'll also need to find a dark sky, far away from city lights. Sounds like a hassle, but astronomers say this is arguably the best comet viewing since 1997.
Judging by photos posted on Twitter over the past few days, the come is putting on quite a show.