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Albertan skywatchers share photos of Comet NEOWISE as it soars past Earth

A shot taken of the Neowise Comet in Alberta by Davide Colonna.
A shot taken of the Neowise Comet in Alberta by Davide Colonna. Courtesy / Davide Colonna

The sky above Alberta has been lit up by the NEOWISE comet over the past few days, as the space object passes by Earth as part of its orbit.

The C/2020 F3 NEOWISE comet was discovered back in March by NASA’s NEOWISE mission — which is how the comet got its informal name — and has been getting attention from skywatchers over the past month.

According to NASA, the comet is passing Earth as part of a “long, stretched-out orbit,” that takes it to the outer solar system and back toward the sun over a period of around 6,800 years.

The comet is currently most visible just before dawn in the Northern Hemisphere. However, as July continues, NASA says it will become more visible as an evening object.

Albertans in the Calgary and Edmonton areas shared some of their photos with Global News and on social media.

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A shot of the NEOWISE comet taken in southern Alberta by Jordan Wiscombe.
A shot of the NEOWISE comet taken in southern Alberta by Jordan Wiscombe. Courtesy / Jordan Wiscombe
A shot of the comet taken near Balzac, Alta.
A shot of the comet taken near Balzac, Alta. Courtesy / Eric Epie

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The comet will be closest to Earth on July 22, when it will be about 103 million kilometres away.

It’s currently easiest to see before dawn just above the horizon looking northeast, but after July 15 will then be best viewed in the northwest sky just after sunset, according to NASA.

The NEOWISE comet is one of 3,650 that have been confirmed by NASA.

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