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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

Trump's coronavirus adviser Scott Atlas resigns

Photo: Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty

Scott Atlas, a controversial member of the White House coronavirus task force, handed in his resignation on Monday, according to three administration officials who discussed Atlas' resignation with Axios.

Why it matters: President Trump brought in Atlas as a counterpoint to NIAID director Anthony Fauci, whose warnings about the pandemic were dismissed by the Trump administration. With Trump now fixated on election fraud conspiracy theories, Atlas' detail comes to a natural end.

Dave Lawler, author of World
2 hours ago - World

Assassination in Iran sets stage for tense final 50 days of Trump

The funeral ceremony in Tehran. Photo: Iranian Defense Ministry via Getty

Iranian leaders are weighing their response to the assassination of Mohsen Fakhrizadeh, known as the father of Iran’s military nuclear program, who was given a state funeral Monday in Tehran.

The big picture: Iran has accused Israel of carrying out Friday’s attack, but senior leaders have suggested that they’ll choose patience over an immediate escalation that could play into the hands of the Israelis and the outgoing Trump administration.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Hospital crisis deepens as holiday season nears.
  2. Vaccine: Moderna to file for FDA emergency use authorizationVaccinating rural America won't be easy — Being last in the vaccine queue is young people's next big COVID test.
  3. Politics: Bipartisan group of senators seeks stimulus dealChuck Grassley returns to Senate after recovering from COVID-19.
  4. States: Cuomo orders emergency hospital protocols as COVID capacity dwindles.
  5. Economy: Wall Street wonders how bad economy has to get for Congress to act.
  6. 🎧 Podcast: The state of play of the top vaccines.

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