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The comet is currently visible after sunset and will have its closest encounter with Earth on July 23 when it will be around 64 million miles away.

Tonight, if you can find the Big Dipper in the northern sky, you can find the North Star, Polaris. She has won a galaxy of awards from the broadcasting and science communities, including having an asteroid named 3505 Byrd in her honor. The Big Dipper is low in the northeast sky at nightfall, but it’ll climb upward during the evening hours, to reach its high point for the night in the wee hours after midnight. A link has been sent to your friend's email address.

Scorpius is probably most famous for being in the path of the Milky Way. Notice the two outer stars in the bowl of the Big Dipper. This is the point at which the Earth will be directly between Jupiter and the sun. Find the right spot.

It is brighter than nearly all of the stars, but it will look much dimmer since it will be so close to Jupiter. We have updated our Privacy Policy and Cookie Policy. The Big Dipper is an asterism in the constellation Ursa Major (the Great Bear). Johan Nilsson, TT News Agency/AFP via Getty Images.

In India, skywatchers are able to get a glimpse of the celestial event starting from July 14. Comet Neowise is seen above Salgotarjan, Hungary, July 10, 2020.

American Meteor Society meteor shower calendar. Essential gear for cycling in winter conditions. Graphic made using Stellarium. According to NASA, the lower tail, which appears broad and fuzzy, is the dust tail created when dust lifts off the surface of the comet's nucleus and trails behind the comet in its orbit.

Deborah Byrd created the EarthSky radio series in 1991 and founded in 1994.

Order your EarthSky Planisphere today. But from the 14th onward, stargazers are more likely to see the comet in the evening sky. The upper tail is the ion tail, which is made up of gases that have been ionized by losing electrons in the sun's intense light. This marvellous celestial spectacle will continue till early August.


And that’ll be tonight, and for many nights to come over the coming weeks and months … in the north in mid-evening. During the full moon, there will be an eclipse.

However, it will be much easier to spot than recent nights as it will be a bit higher in the sky and brighter (25% illuminated). The Big Dipper isn’t a constellation, by the way. The Comet near the Big Dipper will be closest to Earth on July 22-23, as per NASA reports when it will only be 64 million miles or 103 million kilometres from the planet as it crosses the planet’s orbit. From 41 degrees N. – and farther north – the Big Dipper is circumpolar, meaning it never sets. A well-known trick for finding Polaris, the legendary North Star, is that the two outermost stars in the bowl of the Big Dipper point to it. Merak 79 light-years. Just look up; you never know what you will see. Photo by Kurt Zeppetello. View looking west and up this evening around 11 p.m. local time. By finding the Big Dipper, astronomers can easily locate other stars and constellations from it. The Guard stars of the Little Dipper protect Polaris from the Great Bear, just in case he might try to catch the North Star for himself.

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