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Comet NEOWISE seen from the International Space Station. Photo: NASA

A bright comet is gracing skies around the world this month, and from dark areas in the Northern Hemisphere, it's visible with the naked eye.

The big picture: This comet — named NEOWISE after the spacecraft that discovered it — likely won't be quite as spectacular as Comet Hale-Bopp was in 1997, but it will still make for good viewing for those who can see it.

How to spot it: Comet NEOWISE is now visible in the evening sky after making it through its close approach with the Sun on July 3 without breaking up.

  • According to Space.com, the best time to see the comet during the evening after sunset will be from today through July 19, as it climbs higher into the sky.
  • Right now, moonlight isn't a limiting factor and the comet is still close enough to shine relatively brightly.
  • The best way to spot the comet is to head outside after sunset and look to the northwest horizon. (Use this handy website to see exactly where and where to look depending on your location.)
  • While observers should be able to see the comet with the naked eye from dark areas, the icy object is best seen through binoculars, where details of the comet's tail and nucleus can really be appreciated.

Background: "In its discovery images, Comet NEOWISE appeared as a glowing, fuzzy dot moving across the sky even when it was still pretty far away," Amy Mainzer, NEOWISE principal investigator, said in a NASA statement. "As soon as we saw how close it would come to the Sun, we had hopes that it would put on a good show."

  • Other comets this year, however, haven't been so lucky. Comet ATLAS, for example, seemed promising ahead of its close approach with the Sun, but it broke up as it got closer to the star.

Go deeper

Tina Reed, author of Vitals
50 mins ago - Health

Experts fear a bad flu season on top of COVID

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Public health officials are warning that the U.S. may be on the verge of a dangerous double whammy: COVID and flu, spreading simultaneously.

The big picture: The Delta variant is still circulating across the U.S., and the Omicron variant isn't far behind. On top of that, experts see potential warning signs of a bad flu season, which could leave millions of Americans vulnerable and strain health care resources.

Updated 2 hours ago - World

Australia joins U.S. in diplomatic boycott of Beijing Winter Olympics

Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison. Photo: Darrian Traynor/Getty Images

Australia is joining the U.S. in a diplomatic boycott of the 2022 Beijing Winter Olympic Games in protest of human rights abuses committed by China's government, Prime Minister Scott Morrison confirmed Wednesday.

Driving the news: After the Biden administration's announcement that U.S. officials won't attend the Games due to the ongoing genocide of Uighurs and other Muslim minorities in the Xinjiang region of China, Morrison said at a Sydney briefing that Australia would follow suit as "it's the right thing to do."

Progressives to file resolution to strip Boebert's committee seats

Rep. Lauren Boebert walking through the Senate side of the U.S. Capitol earlier this month. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

House progressives are planning to introduce a resolution on Wednesday to strip Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) of her committee assignments, according to a Democratic aide familiar with the matter.

Why it matters: The move, which was first reported by the Washington Post, comes as progressives — anxious to see the right-wing firebrand face retribution for her recent comments — have grown frustrated by Democratic leadership's inaction on the issue.

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