Neowise, one of the brightest comets in decades, is closest to Earth today
Neowise, one of the brightest comets in decades, has brought with it a stunning debris trail this month, delighting skywatchers around the world. Its closest approach to Earth comes today, July 22, at a distance of about 64 million miles.
Throughout July, the newly-discovered comet, formally named Comet C2020 F3 NEOWISE by NASA, has been visible both in the early hours before sunrise, and later in the evening after sunset. To view it, people in the Northern Hemisphere can look to the northwestern sky, just below Ursa Major, commonly known as the Big Dipper constellation.
Astrophotographers, as well as astronauts aboard the International Space Station, have captured the stunning celestial phenomenon, which will continue to bring spectacular sightings into early August. After that, the comet will begin its journey away from Earth back toward the outer solar system.
The event is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience — the comet takes about 6,800 years to complete its path around the sun, according to NASA.