Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) Will Be Closest To Earth On July 23
Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE), which Earth's inhabitants can observe in the pre-dawn sky these days, will pass as close to our planet as possible on July 23, according to the press service of the Moscow planetarium.
This comet was first detected by the NEOWISE infrared telescope in late March 2020. It moves around the Sun in the opposite direction of its rotation.
From Earth, C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) can now be observed shortly before dawn over the North-Eastern sky horizon. From July 10, it will be visible at night. After July 20, the comet can only be seen in the evening and the first half of the night.
"At the minimum distance from Earth, comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) will pass on July 23. It will be 0.692 astronomical units or 103.52 million kilometers. By this time, the nights will be darker, so we have a good chance to watch it for a long time," explained the planetarium.
Until July 13, the comet's path passes through the constellation of Charioteer; then it will move to the constellation of Lynx, and on July 17, it will go to the constellation of URSA Major. It has already passed the perihelion-the point of maximum convergence with our sun, which means that the comet has begun to move away from the Sun. Therefore, its luster will gradually weaken. According to forecasts, the brightness of C / 2020 F3 will fall at a rate of approximately 1.3 magnitudes per week. You can see it using any optical devices, including spyglasses, binoculars, and telescopes.
"The main obstacle to such observations is the twilight sky. Therefore, the more northerly observations are made, the more difficult they are due to the lighter nights. In Northern latitudes (North of about 60 degrees north latitude), it will be extremely difficult to find it due to its low position above the horizon and white nights," the planetarium added.