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C/2020 F3 Neowise

What is it?

The C/2020 F3 is a comet and is also called as NEOWISE. It will be visible to the naked eye for 20 minutes every day for 20 days across India.

What are Comets?

  • Comets are “dirty snowballs” and are mostly made of dust, rocks and ice.
  • The word comet comes from the Latin word “Cometa” which means “long-haired” and the earliest known record of a comet sighting was made by an astrologer in 1059 BC.
  • Comets can range in their width from a few miles to tens of miles wide.
  • While there are millions of comets orbiting the sun, there are more than 3,650 known comets as of now, according to NASA.

Significance of the comets

  • NASA tracks all Near Earth Objects (NEOs) that includes comets and asteroids using telescopes placed all around the Earth, as part of its NEO Observation Program.
  • Comets hold important clues about the formation of the solar system and it is possible that comets brought water and other organic compounds, which are the building blocks of life to Earth.

Most famous comet

  • Halley’s Comet is the most famous comet.
  • It is a “periodic” comet and returns to Earth’s vicinity about every 75 years, making it possible for a human to see it twice in his or her lifetime.
  • The last time it was here was in 1986, and it is projected to return in 2061
  • The comet is named after English astronomer Edmond Halley, who examined reports of a comet approaching Earth in 1531, 1607 and 1682.
  • He concluded that these three comets were actually the same comet returning over and over again, and predicted the comet would come again in 1758
Comet
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Read WHAT’S THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN A COMET, ASTEROID AND METEOR?

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