July 26 Astronomy Picture of the Day

Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.

2022 July 26

Comet NEOWISE Rising over the Adriatic Sea

Comet NEOWISE Rising over the Adriatic Sea
Video Credit & Copyright: Paolo GirottiExplanation: This sight was worth getting out of bed early. Two years ago this month, Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) rose before dawn to the delight of northern sky enthusiasts awake that early. Up before sunrise on July 8th, the featured photographer was able to capture in dramatic fashion one of the few comets visible to the unaided eye this century, an inner-Solar System intruder that has become known as the Great Comet of 2020. The resulting video detailed Comet NEOWISE from Italy rising over the Adriatic Sea. The time-lapse video combines over 240 images taken over 30 minutes. The comet was seen rising through a foreground of bright and undulating noctilucent clouds, and before a background of distant stars. Comet NEOWISE remained unexpectedly bright until 2020 August, with its ion and dust tails found to emanate from a nucleus spanning about five kilometers across.

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