A new planet has been discovered that has the potential to bring us a great show in the coming weeks.
Comet C / 2020 F3 NEOWISE or Neowise is the third comet discovered by astronomers this year. According to astronomers, the comet would become visible to the naked eye and could become very bright. Comets Atlas and Swan also made such a promise, but they disintegrated and faded before they could be seen.
“You don’t see much now, but this comet could flower in the weeks after perihelion, the closest point to the Sun,” writes astronomer Tony Phillips on Spaceweather.com. “Observers in the northern hemisphere could easily see it in the night sky in mid-July.”
If the comet does bloom, Neowise could be as bright as the twinkling stars in the sky. But if the Atlas and Swan comets are indicative of a constant, heavenly fans shouldn’t lose their breath.
Comets are notable for their sporadic nature. It is very difficult to predict how they will behave during their close encounter with the Sun. Some fail to resist the gravitational pull of our star and head straight for the Sun, en route to extinction.
However, veteran planet watcher Michael Mattiazzo, who took the photo shown above, thinks there is a decent chance Neowise can be seen.
“I say there is a 70 percent chance that this comet will survive perihelion,” Mattiazzo told Phillips.