Comet shines above Tsubetsu Pass at dawn

Aug. 11, 2020

Comet NEOWISE, discovered in late March this year, was visible to the naked eye above eastern Hokkaido’s Tsubetsu Pass in the early hours of July 10. It was shining dimply with the brightness of a first-class star. The comet was discovered by the Near-Earth Object Wide-field Explorer (NEOWISE) of the U.S. National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA). It approached the sun on July 4 and showed signs of activity.

In Hokkaido, it was visible in the northeastern sky at dawn through mid-July. In late July onwards, the daily dimming of the comet can be observed in the northwestern sky after sunset. According to the National Astronomical Observatory of Japan, the comet has an oval trajectory approximate to a parabola, and its next approach to the sun will be more than 5,000 years from now.


Tsubetsu Pass