A view from space: Comet Neowise spotted after approaching the sun
OTTAWA -- Newly released video from NASA shows the comet Neowise as it jets through space after it approached the sun.
NASA’s Parker Solar Probe captured a view of the twin tails of the comet while on its mission to explore the sun’s atmosphere.
The comet was first discovered on March 25 by NASA’s Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer. It was named after the mission that found it, C/2020 F3 Neowise.
"NASA’s Parker Solar Probe was at the right place at the right time to capture a unique view of comet NEOWISE on July 5, 2020. Parker Solar Probe’s position in space gave the spacecraft an unmatched view of the comet’s twin tails when it was particularly active just after its closest approach to the sun, called perihelion," reads a statement on NASA’s website.
Since being identified, NASA’s Solar and Terrestrial Relations Observatory, the ESA/NASA Solar, Heliospheric Observatory, and astronauts aboard the International Space Station have spotted the icy rock.
There’s been a number of sightings from Earth as well, as people have risen at the crack of dawn to catch a glimpse of the space spectacle before the comet fades into space as it travels further away from the sun.
"This very close passage by the sun is cooking the comet's outermost layers, causing gas and dust to erupt off the icy surface and creating a large tail of debris. And yet the comet has managed to survive this intense roasting," reads another article about the comet on NASA’s website.
Neowise is most visible in the morning sky right now – about an hour before sunrise – but as it continues to descend back into the outskirts of outer space, it will start to light up the Earth’s atmosphere shortly after sunset starting July 11 or 12.