In late March, a team of astronomers working on a space telescope mission called Neowise discovered a comet booking it past the sun, 160 million miles away from Earth. The comet, officially known as C/2020 F3 but usually just referred to as Neowise, is a 3-mile-wide chunk of ice and dust on a 6,000-year loop around the solar system. It’s just one of thousands of space rocks discovered with the Neowise telescope, but its trajectory means that for a few weeks this summer it will give observers in the northern hemisphere a rare cosmic light show.
“This is the most impressive-looking comet that I have seen since the 1990s with Hale-Bopp,” says George Hripcsak, an amateur astronomer in New York City. Hale-Bopp is a comet on a 2,500-year orbit around the sun that made its closest pass by Earth in 1997. It was visible to the naked eye for a