July 8 2020
Comet NEOWISE was only a recent discovery on March 27. It passed around the sun on July 3 at a distance of 27.3 million miles and was not sure it would hold together. Well, it has and is now providing and amazing sight here on Earth with the naked eye. We just need a clear sky, but have plenty of chances this month.
While the viewing will be in the early mornings this week, it will which to the evenings for most of this month and get easier to see. This post has a few recent photos, an amazing video of the comet from the International Space Station (ISS), and how to find it with relative ease.
Photos of Comet NEOWISE
My friend Tony Hake captured a few photos from Denver, but we can see it anywhere. This shows it is visible to the naked eye. He did leave the exposure open for two seconds, so the sky was actually darker than seen here.
Comet NEOWISE will continue to climb higher in the sky over the next couple of mornings, then become visible in the evening sky and climb even higher for a few weeks. I’ll explain below.
Where And When To Look
When: 5 AM
If you can wake up early, and IF the sky is clear, look to the Northeast before sunrise. That will be 5:47 AM on Thursday July 9. Start looking in the direction of the brightening sky.
Look where the sky is getting bright before dawn.
The comet will be brightest just before sunrise, about 10º above the horizon. If you reach our your arm in front of you, it will be about the height of your fist above the horizon. Note that an unobstructed view is best. If you have a hill, trees or buildings in that direction, it will be blocked. If you are by the Bay or at the beach, just hope you have no cloud cover.
Morning viewing will peak on July 11.
Evening viewing will begin low in the sky on July 12, but keep getting better.
July 22: Comet NEOWISE will be 64 million miles from Earth, the closest approach.
July 25: Comet NEOWISE will be 30º above the horizon, equal to 3 fists high.
Closer View in West Virginia
Video from ISS
This amazing scene shows Comet NEOWISE rising over Earth’s horizon. You may want to skip to 3:14 for the first look at the comet.
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