NASA’s new discovery, a rare comet to be visible from Earth for the first time

Written by | January 2, 2017 | 0

One may be able to see a new NASA discovery just by binoculars this week for the first time. NASA scientists have discovered a rare comet, which would then head back into outer reaches of the solar system for an orbit.

Paul Chodas, manager of NASA’s Centre for Near-Earth Object (NEO) Studies at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in the US revealed that the newly discovered comet C/2016 U1 NEOWISE has a good chance of becoming visible through good pair of binoculars.

Comet C/2016 U1 NEOWISE will be in the southeastern sky shortly before dawn, as seen from the northern hemisphere during the first week of 2017.

However the comet is not considered a threat to our planet even after being visible to skywatchers at Earth this week. It is moving farther south each day and it will reach its closest point to the Sun, inside the orbit of Mercury, on January 14, before heading back out to the outer reaches of the solar system for an orbit lasting thousands of years.

NASA’s NEOWISE mission has recently discovered some celestial objects travelling through our neighbourhood, including one on the blurry line between asteroid and comet. An object called 2016 WF9 was detected by the NEOWISE project on November 27 last year.

Filed in: Science

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