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Locals share awe-inspiring photos of rare comet in Vancouver skies (PHOTOS & VIDEO)

The comet will be visible for a few weeks, and it can be seen with the naked eye.
Photo: @stupichshit / Instagram

British Columbians are sharing images of a recently discovered comet that will be visible over B.C. for the next couple of weeks, before disappearing again for thousands of years.

The Neowise comet, discovered in March by NASA’s Neowise infrared space telescope, reached its closest point to the sun on July 3, which caused the “frozen ice ball” to heat up and burn gas and dust off its surface. 

NASA explains that, "This very close passage by the Sun is cooking the comet's outermost layers, causing gas and dust to erupt off the icy surface and creating a large tail of debris. And yet the comet has managed to survive this intense roasting."

What's more, the astronauts aboard the International Space Station spotted it from their vantage point high above Earth's atmosphere.

"From its infrared signature, we can tell that it is about 5 kilometers [3 miles] across, and by combining the infrared data with visible-light images, we can tell that the comet's nucleus is covered with sooty, dark particles left over from its formation near the birth of our solar system 4.6 billion years ago," said Joseph Masiero, NEOWISE deputy principal investigator at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California.

The comet will be visible for a few weeks, and it can be seen with the naked eye. However, binoculars will make for better visuals. 

Have a look at some of the best photos from the Lower Mainland over the past few days. 

Watch a short video from the H.R. MacMillan Space Centre about how to find the comet.


With files from The Associated Press and Roxanne Egan-Elliott.

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