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Wish Upon a Shooting Star: Watch the NEOWISE Comet in India Tonight!

 This rare comet will be visible from India for 20 days starting today. Here are all the deets on how you can catch a glimpse ☄️.

For all you die-hard science fans and lovers of rom-coms (the two can overlap as well, we promise) we have good news! You can witness your very own, super-special Astro phenomena in India starting today.

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Spotted by NASA's NEOWISE  team, the thus named NEOWISE comet (also known as C/2020) will be making its closest approach to Earth on July 22nd. The comet, which on its way out of the solar system, will become visible in the north-western sky starting July 14 and can be seen by the naked eye. 

"From July 14, C/2020 F3 will be clearly visible in the north-western sky. It will be visible after sunset for around 20 minutes for the next 20 days. People can observe it with naked eyes,” Dr Subhendu Pattnaik, the deputy director of Pathani Samanta Planeterium in Bhubaneshwar was quoted by the news agency ANI.

Here's how you can watch the comet:

  • The NEOWISE comet was visible starting from the hour before dawn sky and can be seen in the middle of the month. The comet can best be viewed as an evening object starting mid-July onwards, explained NASA.
  • "A far better viewing perspective will be available in the evening sky starting around July 14, when it will appear low in the northwest sky (20 degrees from the horizon) for around 20 minutes. In the evenings to follow, the comet will rapidly climb higher in the sky and will be visible for a longer period,” said Dr Pattnaik.
  • A pair of binoculars or a small telescope is recommended for a better viewing experiance.
  • Around 30th July the comet will be visible near Ursa Major (Saptarshi Mandal) at an altitude of 40 degrees and will be visible for an hour.
  • After July it will fade away very fast and will not be visible to the unaided eye.

While technically a shooting star is a meteoroid, which is the broken off part of a comet, we are sure that this rare comet will be a great carrier of positive energy any wishes you make. Besides, this is a once in a lifetime astro eventt that you definitely should not miss. Brb, getting our binoculars all cleaned up and ready for tonight!