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Astronomy Picture of the Day
  • The Long Tails of Comet NEOWISE 
Image Credit & Copyright: Petr Horalek @petrhoralek 

Explanation: This Comet NEOWISE (C/2020 F3) now sweeps through our fair planet's northern skies. Its long tails stretch across this deep skyview from Suchy Vrch, Czech Republic. Recorded on the night of July 13/14, the composite of untracked foreground and tracked and filtered sky exposures teases out details in the comet's tail not visible to the unaided eye. Faint structures extend to the top of the frame, over 20 degrees from the comet's bright coma. Pushed out by the pressure of sunlight itself, the broad curve of the comet's yellowish dust tail is easy to see by eye. But the fainter, more bluish tail is separate from the reflective comet dust. The fainter tail is an ion tail, formed as ions from the cometary coma are dragged outward by magnetic fields in the solar wind and fluoresce in the sunlight. Outbound NEOWISE is climbing higher in northern evening skies, coming closest to Earth on July 23rd.
This Day in History
  • American becomes first non-Japanese to achieve highest rank in sumo wrestling
    On January 25, 1993, American Chad Rowan becomes the first non-Japanese sumo wrestler to become a “yokozuna,” the sport's highest rank. Rowan, a 23-year-old Hawaii native who stands 6-foot-8 and weighs 455 pounds, is the 64th person to hold the top rank in sumo, Japan's national sport.  ...Continue reading
  • First Winter Olympics
    On January 25, 1924, the first Winter Olympics take off in style at Chamonix in the French Alps. Spectators were thrilled by the ski jump and bobsled as well as 12 other events involving a total of six sports. The “International Winter Sports Week,” as it was known, was a great success, and in 1928 ...Continue reading
  • Chairman Mao’s widow sentenced to death
    Jiang Qing, the widow of Chinese leader Mao Zedong, is sentenced to death for her “counter-revolutionary crimes” during the Cultural Revolution. Originally an actress in Communist theater and film, her marriage to Mao in 1939 was widely criticized, as his third wife, Ho Zizhen, was a celebrated ...Continue reading
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