Comet NEOWISE streaks across the sky over Sunwapta Lake in Jasper National Park, Alberta, Canada
© Stocktrek Images, Inc./Alam
Take in the mesmerising sky
We’re in Canada’s Jasper National Park, one of the best stargazing spots in the world, to witness the Comet NEOWISE shooting across the night sky. NEOWISE, discovered on March 27, 2020, happens to be the brightest comet in the northern hemisphere since Comet Hale-Bopp in 1995.
Look closely at the image. What else can you see? There’s the Big Dipper at the top of the page. On the far left is Arcturus, the brightest star in the Northern Hemisphere. That orange star on the bottom is Tania Australis, a binary star in the constellation of Ursa Major. And streaking across the skies are gorgeous red and green bands of colour called airglow.
Each year in October, amateur and professional astronomers alike flock to Jasper for the Dark Sky Festival, a two-week extravaganza of speakers, stargazing, and celestial experiences such as seeing comets like NEOWISE shoot through the heavens.