Comet NEOWISE over Zumwalt Prairie

The comet NEOWISE, seen here over Zumwalt Prairie at about 11:30 p.m. on Monday, July 20, is an unusually bright comet, has an icy head that contains about 13 million Olympic swimming pools of water, is about 3 miles in diameter, and is traveling about 144,000 mph, according to NASA’s Emily Kramer. The comet’s long tail is composed primarily of dust. The reddish hue is added by viewing through the smoke and dust of the Earth’s atmosphere. The blue streak on the left side of NEOWISE is the comet’s second blue ion tail, a common feature of comets, and includes ions of carbon monoxide and methane as well as water, according to NASA.

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