News Excerpt
The comet NEOWISE will be making its closest approach to the Earth in the month of July, passing by at a distance of 103 million kilometres.

Pre-Connect
•    Comets are basically dusty snowballs which orbit the Sun. They are made of ices, such as water, carbon dioxide, ammonia and methane, mixed with dust.
•    These materials came from the time when the Solar System was formed.
•    Comets have an icy center (nucleus) surrounded by a large cloud of gas and dust (called the coma). The coma is created as the ice in the nucleus is warmed by the Sun and vaporizes.
•    Comets can develop two tails as they travel closer to the Sun: a straight gas tail and a curved dust tail.
•    The gas tail is created by the solar wind, pushing gas away from the comet's coma and pointing straight back from the Sun.
•    The dust in the coma is not affected by magnetic fields but is vaporized by the Sun's heat, and forms a curved tail which follows the comet's orbit.

Highlights
    Officially known as C/2020 F3, Comet NEOWISE is a comet that was discovered on March 27, 2020, by NEOWISE, the asteroid-hunting afterlife of the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) mission.
    Comet NEOWISE has two tails that typically accompany every comet.
    Comet NEOWISE is about 3 miles (5 kilometers) in diameterwhich is a reasonably large but roughly average-size comet.
    The comet is moving about twice as fast as the Earth's speed around the sun.Because of the comet's extremely elliptical orbit, it will slow down as it reaches its farthest point from the sun, then fall back toward the inner solar system and accelerate again when it heads back round the sun.
    That trip around the sun is over for Comet NEOWISE's current orbit and it's moving back to the outer solar system.
    This particular comet has no possibility of impacting the Earth. It crosses the plane of Earth orbit well inside of recovery orbit and almost near the orbit of Mercury, so there's absolutely no hazard from this comet.


PEPPER IT WITH
Asteroid, Kuiper belt, Asteroid belt, Solar system