The comet NEOWISE, as seen from our house last night! Some cool facts for other astronomy nerds:
🌠 It will be about 6,800 years before it’s seen again from Earth.
🌠 It’s roughly 3 miles in diameter.
🌠 It’s made of leftover ice and dust from the formation of the solar system roughly 4.6 billion years ago. The masses of dust, rock, and ice heat up when approaching the sun. As they get closer, they spew gases and dust into the glowing head and tail that you can see.
🌠 NEOWISE is expected to make its closest approach to Earth tonight (July 22), passing us at a distance of 64 million miles.
🌠 Anyone in the Northern Hemisphere can see it after sunset, below the Big Dipper in the northwest sky. I took this photo at about 11pm last night.
🌠 Be aware, it doesn’t look quite this bright to the naked eye; you’ll want to look for a light smudge in the sky under the Big Dipper, and ideally with binoculars. It’s still super cool, even to the naked eye!
Watch a timelapse of it here!