Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE)


Lauri Kangas

Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) was discovered by the Neowise space telescope.
It will be closest to our planet on the evening of July 22 (“perigee”), when it will be 103.5 million km away. Astronomers estimate the diameter of the comet nucleus at approximately 5 km. It won’t return for another 6800 years.
The comet has two tails visible in the photos; a larger dust tail and a fainter blue ion tail. The ion tail is the result of ultraviolet radiation ejecting electrons off particles in the coma. Once the particles have been ionised, they form a plasma.