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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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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

4 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.

The week markets went wild

Illustration: Lazaro Gamio

The markets just closed out a manic week.

Why it matters: Outsized — and in some cases historic — moves were evident across the board.

You’ve caught up. Now what?

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