EarthWatch: Comet NEOWISE from the International Space Station

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In July 2020, sky gazers on Earth and on the International Space Station had a front row seat to one of the brightest comets in decades. 

Produced by the Space Telescope Science Institute‚Äôs Office of Public Outreach in collaboration with the NASA Earth Observatory: 
  • Astronaut photograph ISS063-E-39888 provided by the ISS Crew Earth Observations Facility and the Earth Science and Remote Sensing Unit, Johnson Space Center. 
  • Time-lapse animation by Sara Schmidt of the Earth Science and Remote Sensing group at NASA JSC. 
  • Image of the Day story by Kasha Patel: 
  • Adaptation to ViewSpace by Margaret W. Carruthers and Dani Player 
  • Music from Music for Nonprofits

Text, Earth Watch, Exploring the Blue Planet by Satellite
Comet NEOWISE from the International Space Station
An astronaut aboard the International Space Station captured this time-lapse of Comet NEOWISE rising above the sunlit limb of Earth as the ISS passed over Uzbekistan and central Asia.
We move through space towards a bright light over the Earth.
Text, at the time, NEOWISE had just made its closest approach to the Sun and was headed back toward the outer solar system.
Comets are masses of dust, rock, and ice left over from the formation of the Solar System roughly 4.6 billion years ago.
NEOWISE has a nucleus roughly 5 kilometers across and a coma of gas and dust thousands of kilometers across.
It also has two tails, one of gas and one of dust, stretching hundreds of thousands to millions of kilometers out from the nucleus and away from the Sun.
Because it has a long, elliptical orbit, NEOWISE will not return to the inner part of the Solar System for another 6,800 years.
To learn more, go to: earth observatory dot nasa dot gov