Comet NEOWISE Can Now Be Seen From Michigan
Wanna see something cool? Step outside tomorrow morning before sunrise and - if the sky's clear - look toward the northeast. Kind of low on the horizon (for now) you should be able to see Comet NEOWISE. It's getting closer and brighter every day and it might turn into “a spectacular event”.
According to Scientific American, this comet came into view of the Near-Earth Object Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) space telescope on March 27th (they found it - they get to name it, I guess) Its scientific name is officially C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE it is, then) Last week it got within 27 million miles from the sun and that fired up the gases that form its tail. In the last few days some pretty cool photos of this comet have been showing up online, from Michigan and Canada. Even though it's best seen in the morning, scientists say you'l be able to see it in the evening, in the northwest sky, starting Sunday (July 12th).
Franck Marchis, an astronomer at the SETI Institute, says there's a possibility the sun could heat this comet to a point where it might "disintegrate in a bright outburst". Of that he says, it would be:
a spectacular event and a great show for the earthlings
I'd say we deserve one of those.
So, get up early - or wait until next week when you can see it at night - but take advantage of witnessing a truly cosmic event. If this comet survives this trip and you want to see it again when it comes back - it's going to be awhile.
About 6,800 years.