18 July, 2020
4 Min Read
NEOWISE after the NASA telescope
GS-Paper-3 S&T (PT)
The recently discovered comet C/2020 F3 will make its closest approach to the Earth at a distance of 64 million miles or 103 million kilometres while crossing Earth’s outside orbit on 22nd July 2020.
It is also known as NEOWISE after the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) telescope that discovered it. On 3rd July, it was closest to the sun at 43 million km due to which its outer layer was released, creating an atmosphere (referred to as coma) of gas and dust from its icy surface. It will be visible through binoculars or a small telescope.
What is Coma?
On July 3, the comet was closest to the sun at 43 million km. On this day, the comet cruised inside Mercury’s orbit and, due to its proximity to the sun, its outer layer was released creating an atmosphere – referred to as coma – of gas and dust from its icy surface.
What Are The Differences Between An Asteroid, Comet, Meteoroid, Meteor and Meteorite?
Launched in December 2009 as the Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer, or WISE, the space telescope was originally designed to survey the sky in infrared, detecting asteroids, stars and some of the faintest galaxies in space.
It did so successfully until completing its primary mission in February 2011. In December 2013, it was re-purposed for the NEOWISE project as an instrument to study near-Earth objects, or NEOs, as well as more distant asteroids and comets.
Significance of the Study
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