“As it speeds away from the Sun, Comet NEOWISE will begin to make its appearance in the evening sky shortly after sunset on July 11.
Comet NEOWISE was first discovered by NASA’s NEOWISE telescope – an asteroid hunting observatory.
Amy Mainzer, NEOWISE principal investigator at the University of Arizona, said: “In its discovery images, Comet NEOWISE appeared as a glowing, fuzzy dot moving across the sky even when it was still pretty far away.
“As soon as we saw how close it would come to the Sun, we had hopes that it would put on a good show.”
Joseph Masiero, NEOWISE deputy principal investigator at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California, added: “From its infrared signature, we can tell that it is about 5 kilometres [3 miles] across, and by combining the infrared data with visible-light images, we can tell that the comet’s nucleus is covered with sooty, dark particles left over from its formation near the birth of our solar system 4.6 billion years ago.”