Long-period comet Neowise will be bright enough to be visible to the naked human eye on July 23 when its distance is closest to Earth, the Philippine Astronomical Society, Inc. (PASI) announced.
Named after the Neowise mission of the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) space telescope upon discovery in March this year, the comet also known as C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE), will be visible until the end of the month.
Filipino astrologist and meteorologist Edmund Rosales said in a live briefing via PASI that the Neowise comet is a must-see celestial light show as it passes by since its orbital period is 6,800 years.
“Sobrang layo. Kaya ‘yong iba binabanggit once in a lifetime. Kung gusto niyong makita ang comet Neowise, ito lang yong chance natin. ‘Pag nawala ‘yan, ‘di na natin makikita ang pagbalik niya kasi nasa year 8,000 plus na tayo,” he said.
On July 23, at a distance of 103 million kilometers, the comet Neowise will be at its closes distance to Earth.
Rosales advised that on the said day, look for the comet starting at 7:15 p.m. in the northwest horizon, somewhere below the bottommost star of the asterism of the Big Dipper.
“Habang tumatagal ‘yong date natin, tumatagal din ‘yong window time natin kasi nga paglubog ng araw, mas mataas [and comet Neowise], at mas matagal bago siya mawala. Mas matagal siyang nakikita at mas may chance na mas liliwanag siya kasi madilim ang langit,” Rosales said.
“Anywhere on Earth, same direction lang ‘yan, the only difference is height kasi nga magdedepende sa latitude. Latitude differs from place to place kaya magdidiffer din ‘yong taas ng position ng comet,” he added.
The Neowise comet was first observed on March 23. It is a long-period comet or a comet that takes more than 200 years to complete an orbit around the Sun,
On the contrary, short-period comets take less than 200 years to complete an orbit around the Sun. They originate from the Kuiper Belt, the huge region of space beyond the orbit of Neptune.
Even beyond the Kuiper Belt is the origin of the comet Neowise, the Oort Cloud, or the outer shell of the solar system.