Rare comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE to be visible in Indian skies starting tomorrow

Hemani Sheth Mumbai | Updated on July 13, 2020 Published on July 13, 2020

The newly-discovered comet named C/2020 F3 NEOWISE will be visible in the Indian skies, maybe as early as from July 14, according to media reports.

Skywatchers in India will be able to catch a glimpse of the rare comet for 20 days starting tomorrow, according to the deputy director of Odisha’s Pathani Samanta Planetarium.

The comet was discovered by the US space agency NASA’s Near-Earth Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) telescope in March.

“A comet, visiting from the most distant parts of our solar system, is putting on a spectacular display. Named Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE, the comet made its once-in-our-lifetime close approach to the sun on July 3, 2020, and will cross outside earth's orbit on its way back to the outer parts of the solar system by mid-August,” NASA had said.

The comet was visible to people in several parts of the world last week, including Canada, US, Lebanon, Israel, Austria, Switzerland and France.

“As of July 7, the comet was easily seen through binoculars, with some observers able to see it with naked eyes. Comets are notoriously unpredictable; so, it’s impossible to know if this one will remain so easy to spot, but if it does, it should become easier for more people to observe as July goes on,” NASA said.

The comet will rise increasingly higher above the northwestern horizon from mid-July, the space agency had said.

People in India will be able to view it with naked eyes in clear skies, say reports.

“Through about the middle of the month, the comet will be visible around 10 degrees above the northeastern horizon (the width of your outstretched fist) in the hour before dawn. From mid-July on, it’s best viewed as an evening object, rising increasingly higher above the northwestern horizon,” NASA had said.

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Published on July 13, 2020
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