Astronauts caught a stunning natural light show this weekend from a comet that has been dazzling skywatchers on Earth as well.
That streaker is comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) and it was discovered on March 27, 2020, from some 326 miles (525 km) above Earth’s surface by NEOWISE, the Near Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, which is a space telescope launched by NASA. Firstly it was quite faint in our sky and astronomers were not fully sure if it is going to change. But as time passed, the comet has gained its brightness and now you can see some breathtaking shots of that beauty people already took.
“Last night’s fireworks, for real. Because Science,” NASA astronaut Bob Behnken said in a tweet posted from the International Space Station, on July 5, the day after Americans celebrated the Fourth of July with firework displays.
Also Russian cosmonaut Ivan Vagner photographed the comet, showing us its shining tail in the deep dark blackness of space in contrast to glowing blue atmosphere of Earth.
But not only astronauts were able to capture it! Here is one picture made by Marsha Kirschbaum in San Leandro, California, on the morning of July 5, 2020
Comet NEOWISE was closest to the sun on July 3, 2020, passing at about 26.7 million miles (43 million km) from the sun, or a bit closer than the average distance from the sun to Mercury. Observers are still reporting seeing it, so here is an easy guide for you how to take a look by yourself even you missed it in our night sky!
2. Type NEOWISE in search
3. Enjoy the shining comet☄️ from anywhere on Earth!