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Have a Glimpse of Comet NEOWISE Before it Disappears
On: 22 JUL 2020 5:11PM by PIB Mumbai
after many years that you can see a comet with your naked eye in Earth’s night
sky, a rare celestial event that occurs after many years.
Science Centre in its ‘Lockdown Lecture’ series organised ‘Comet NEOWISE – A
Primer’ to discuss the exploration aspectsrelated
to comets. Director, Nehru Planetarium, New Delhi Dr. N Ratnashree explained
comets, their position in the sky and how one can observe a comet through a
telescope, DSLR camera or even naked eye.
Neowise officially known as C/2020F3 is the brightest comet that can be seen in
the sky and will be visible across the globe as it is closest to the
earth these days. The Neowise, once disappears will be visible only after 6800
Neowise’ was first spotted by NASA's spacecraft mission Near-Earth Object
Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) on 27 March 2020 and hence the
an icy small body which consists mostly of rocky materials, dust and ice. As
they come closer to the sun there is evaporation of volatile contents from
these comets. When they start melting, the particles start glowing by the
reflected sunlight. This makes the 'dust tail' of Comets.
Ratnashree told, “the Neowise comet has been found close to the sun during
early July, which came in the view of NASA's solar mission SOHO, which
exclusively studies the sun and its activities. India also has a similar space
venture Aditya-L1 mission which is due to go up in the sky, to study the corona
of the Sun.”
shared images captured by amateur astronomers across the country at different
points of time during July 2020. She even mentioned how the comet has been
visible in cities that have high light pollution.
lecture Dr. Ratnashree spoke in detail about locating the comet and capturing
it through a DSLR camera. “Point your camera towards North West direction and
try to take a long exposure shot. Try clicking regular photographs on different
days at the same time with the same camera settings to find out the trajectory
of the comet in relation to the horizon,” she said.
the comet is visible to the naked eye, one may find it difficult to locate it
in the sky especially those trying it for the first time.
trying to observe the Comet should first locate the constellation Big Dipper (Ursa
Major) or Saptarishi, the seven
stars in the sky. Once it is located, try to find the part which is pointing
towards Polaris. The comet will be visible in the opposite direction of the
Polaris or the Pole Star,” she said.
She also suggested websites that will help
in finding out the celestial bodies. Star gazers who are interested in
observing such celestial events can use https://calsky.com/ and https://darksitefinder.com/ to
find the coordinates of the exact location of the celestial objects. Also with
the help of https://mausam.imd.gov.in/ one
can know in advance the position of clouds which may hinder the clear view of
the sky. The speed of the wind can also give us an idea as to predict the
movement and the direction of the cloud over a particular area.
She also mentioned that one should try to
have a glimpse of this comet soon as the object is moving away from the sun and
is becoming fainter day by day. Even when it is at its closest point to the
earth the angle between the sun and the comet is increasing gradually and hence
it fades away.
The comet can be seen in clear sky
conditions in areas with lesser light pollution and will be perfectly visible
when the sky is dark.
The lecture brought in all astronomers,
space enthusiasts, star gazers and kids who seek to learn and observe heavenly
objects and the fantasies associated with them.