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How to see the dazzling comet Neowise before it disappears

Jan tlaskal-komnlc-1594049639

Comet Neowise seen from the Czech Republic on the morning of July 6.

Jan Tláskal / Spaceweather.com

Comet Neowise, the most impressive comet in almost 25 years, already begins to fish when it comes close to Earth, which is now the time to capture it.

Emily Kramer, co-investigator for the NASA Neowise spacecraft research team that discovered the comet, noted that it is rare for a comet to be bright enough to see with the naked eye.

“It’s been a while,” she told reporters last week. “The last time was 1995-1996 (with comet Hale-Bopp).”

Neowise survived its nearest brush with the sun on July 3 and has been heading in our direction ever since.

In recent weeks, a number of amateur astrophotographers have shared amazing images of the comet captured as it appeared just above the horizon in the sky.

Astronauts on the International Space Station have also discovered the comet, using their premium vantage point, and NASA’s Parker Solar Probe captured the profile Neowise, shows that it has several tails.

According to NASA solar system ambassador Eddie Irizarry, the comet should be easier to see this week as it climbs a little higher in the sky. There are starting to be some reports, if Neowise is growing weaker, then do not delay.

Right now, the advice shared by many of those who have successfully discovered the comet is to first find it in the sky with binoculars or telescopes. Once you have found it and its brand shared tail, you should be able to track it with the naked eye.

July 5 – my third morning in a row observing Comet NEOWISE. When I held my 7×40 binoculars to my eyes to look for …

Posted by Fred Espenak on Sunday, July 5, 2020

After the comet’s closest transit of the earth on Thursday, it will rise slightly higher in the sky on July 24 and 25, if you miss the actual flyby date. Comets are notoriously clever things that can always break open and burn out at any time, so fingers crossed.

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Tips for capturing comet Neowise with your camera


For the most optimistic of us, there is a possibility that Neowise shines dramatically to become a so-called “big comet” that is easily visible and spectacular to see with the naked eye. Although there is no strict definition of what a large comet is, it is generally agreed that we have not seen one since Hale-Bopp.

The comet will be visible to the northwestern and western edges of the sky. A good rule of thumb is to find the big bucket and start looking below.

Here you can see the comet in the coming weeks. Online resources like TheSkyLive also offer similar night sky maps to help your comet hunt.

This chart from Sky and Telescope shows where to look for comet Neowise in the night sky this month.

Sky and telescope

If you do not capture the comet before it inevitably disappears in August or earlier, you will have to wait a while for its next journey through the inner solar system, which is currently expected to occur in the year 8786.

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