Discover the cosmos! Each day a different image or photograph of our fascinating universe is featured, along with a brief explanation written by a professional astronomer.
2020 May 8
Blowing in the solar wind the spectacular ion tail of
Comet SWAN (C/2020 F8)
extends far across this 10 degree wide telephoto field of view.
Captured on May 2 its greenish
coma was about 6 light-minutes
The pretty background starfield lies near the border of the
constellations Cetus and Aquarius.
This comet SWAN was discovered at home by
Australian amateur Michael Mattiazzo
by checking images from the Sun-staring
SWAN (Solar Wind ANisotropies) camera.
The comet has now become just visible to
the naked-eye as it sweeps
from southern to northern skies.
Appearing in morning twilight near the eastern horizon,
Comet SWAN will make its closest approach to planet Earth
on May 12 and reach perihelion on May 27.
Authors & editors:
Jerry Bonnell (UMCP)
NASA Official: Phillip Newman Specific rights apply.
A service of: ASD at NASA / GSFC
& Michigan Tech. U.