How to spot Comet Neowise

Rodiano Bonacci
Luglio 17, 2020

Neowise wil be visible in both after dusk and pre-dawn skies in the Thompson and Okanagan this week.

Eager sky watchers are turning to the heavens as Comet NEOWISE, one of the brightest comets in a generation, starts climbing ever higher among the evening stars.

NEOWISE made a close approach to the Sun on July 3rd and is now crossing outside Earth's orbit on its way back to the outer parts of the solar system.

Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) in the predawn skies on July 9, 2020, over Deer Valley, Utah.

And the best may be yet to come. You may recall Comet ISON from 2013 - which famously disintegrated near the sun after astronomers placed huge expectations on the comets brightness and visibility. Now the comet is visible to the naked eye, however, it may look more like a star, so make sure to grab those binoculars before heading out.

The closer the comet NEOWISE comes towards Earth, the higher in the sky it'll be visible. Credit and copyright: Ian Barredo. You don't have to wake up early to catch this celestial sight!

"Comet NEOWISE actually has two distinct tails, one of gas and one of rocky dust, that point in slightly different directions because they react differently to the movement of the comet and the solar wind of charged particles that stream from the Sun." explains astrophysicist Karl Battams of the U.S. Naval Research Laboratory in Washington. It's unusual to think that the awesome doubleheader of Hale-Bopp and Hyakutake arrived right before the era of film gave way to digital astrophotography. NEOWISE has managed to surprise us all. "And it's not. And then all of a sudden, when it got a little bit darker you could just see the tail that appeared out of nowhere". It will be visible after sunset for around 20 minutes for the next 20 days. When far from the sun, comets are inert and lack their attractive dust tails, which can be 10 million miles long. Mathew Browne has a photo-tutorial on PetaPixel on how to shoot the comet with your tripod-mounted DSLR and get fantastic results. If you want an even better view of the comet, we recommend heading out to areas such as Eastern Long Island or suburban New Jersey, where light pollution is much less.

Right now, the comet seems to be holding steady at about magnitude +2. Here in PC it is low on the horizon.

The manager of the University of Iowa's Van Allen Observatories says if the clouds clear, Iowans should take advantage of a very rare opportunity to see a comet this week.

Enjoy these wonderful images, and get out there and enjoy F3 NEOWISE, while it's still bright.

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