A Comet Visitor and a Pretty Metal Moon

Want to see a comet? If you live in the northern hemisphere, use binoculars to look low in the northeastern sky before sunrise for comet NEOWISE—formally C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE).

COMET NEOWISE FROM INTERNATIONAL SPACE STATION NASA astronauts aboard the International Space Station captured this image of comet NEOWISE on 5 July 2020, while the station was above northern Iran.

For southern hemispherians, the comet isn’t visible so you’ll have to settle for this spectacular view of it from the International Space Station. NEOWISE was discovered by NASA’s Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, which tracks and characterizes dangerous asteroids. The telescope wasn’t originally meant to be an asteroid hunter and its orbit is slowly decaying. A replacement mission, NEOSM, has yet to be fully funded. Sign our petition to help us get NEOSM to the launch pad.