NEOWISE Spots its First ‘Weirdo’ Comet

NEOWISE Spots its First ‘Weirdo’ Comet

Comet NEOWISE.jpg

A few weeks back NASA’s Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) spotted a near Earth asteroid after waking up. Now it has spotted a never before seen comet, named C/2014 C3 (NEOWISE). The comet is unusual because it orbits around the Sun in the opposite direction to Earth and the other planets.

NEOWISE began life as just WISE. In 2011 it was shut down after completing its first mission. The in September 2013 it was reawakened to begina new mission, to discover potentially dangerous near Earth objects. Hence the name was changed to NEOWISE. This isn’t the first time this name-changing spacecraft has spotted new comets. In its first mission it was credited with 21 new comet sightings.

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Image credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech 

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