Sublime Timelapse Of Comet NEOWISE From Space

On July 6th the northern hemisphere was treated to the spectacular trailing tail of Comet NEOWISE, which isn't set to return to Earth for another 6,800 years.

Thankfully for us southern hemispherians (?), NASA astronaut Bob Behnken -  who recently made history aboard the first commercial flight to put astronauts into space - painstakingly captured almost every moment in pictures from the ISS. 

The tail of the comet emerged and Behnken said: 

"Right before the sun came up, that comet became visible during that short period of time when it was still close to the sun, but the sun was still hidden by the Earth. 

It was just an awesome sight to see."

Then, United Kingdom-based graphic designer and habitual space-agency photo processor Sean Doran took the hundreds of photographs from the ISS and made them into an otherwordly timelapse film. 

The results speak for themselves, but we'll let Doran add this: 

"Grab a cold beverage, turn off the lights, get undressed, get comfortable and pop this on the big TV. Consume whilst drinking..."

 


The film is over 550 long-exposure photos shown in real-time and 4K resolution.

So he wasn't kidding when he said chuck it on the big telly. 

Usually, the photos would only take 18 seconds to show. But the veteran space editor blended and overlapped the photos to show a seamless experience at the same speed you'd see from the ISS. 

And that means orbiting at 400km above Earth at 28,000km/h.

 

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What is comet NEOWISE?

And why is it called that...

 

Photo credit goes to our follower @pilot_astro

The Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) discovered the comet on March 27th of this year. The NEO in NEO WISE stands for "Near-Earth Object" as they are considered potential threats to Earth. 

On July 3rd, NEOWISE looped around the Sun by its gravitational pull and was thrown back into the deep unknown like a pebble from a slingshot.

In the process of coming close to the big ball of fire, NEOWISE sprouted two fashionable tails from its 5km icy body, one tail of gas and the other made of dust. The tails are millions of miles long and stretch a gargantuan length for such a small object. 

The comet is expected to make its way past Earth on its return trip on July 24th at a meagre 102998016km away. 

While it sounds like a lot, and it is, parts of Earth will be able to spot the comet with the naked eye at night. 

Several amateur astrophotographers claim they've seen the comet fragmenting, which is common.

But also means the comet might not be completing its triumphant return in 6,768 years.

Did you catch any snaps of the comet?
Tag us or in your social media posts!

#Space_Aus