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For those at northerly latitudes, Comet NEOWISE up in the evening now, too (earthsky.org)
69 points by iamben 30 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 38 comments

I was a fourteen year-old astronomy geek for Halley's Comet in 1986. What a complete dud it turned out to be.

This comet is amazing. Get out and see it while you can!

Here’s a picture of it this morning in Raleigh, NC (not my picture):



Good intentions here but I think this is a little misleading. That photo almost certainly is a long exposure shot that enhances the visibility of the comet. That same poster also posted this image, which is what it looks like to the naked eye (i.e. it barely registers):


I too remember Halley's comet viewing -- my dad was super excited to see it. It was underwhelming.

Comet Hale–Bopp though, in 1995, was awesome.

Comet Hale-Bopp was one of the most magical sights I've ever witnessed. You could see the long, majestic trail with your own eyes, entirely unaided. No binoculars, telescope, or long exposure needed. It was huge, and it stayed with us for awhile.

Hale-Bopp felt like a celestial dragon or an ethereal god that came to visit. I spent hours outside looking at it. It was mesmerizing.

NEOWISE is pitiful in contrast. I'm hoping I get to see another comet like Hale-Bopp in my lifetime. It made me understand why ancient societies ascribe such meaning to astronomical events.

The other remarkable space event in my life was the total solar eclipse a few years back. The entire world changed for a moment, and the corona was like a glittering chromatic jewel suspended in the sky. I will travel wherever the next total solar eclipse takes me - they're not to be missed.

This is not misleading at all. It's clearly visible with tail and all directly over Copenhagen these nights at around 24-04. Looks pretty much like this http://imgur.com/gallery/brXGgX1

That might have to do something with the massive amount of light pollution in the foreground?

There was also comet Hyakutake in 1996, a bit brighter than hale-bopp but with a bit shorter tail. Another nice characteristic of hale bopp was also the double tail, both visible with naked eye, and the second one was blue in long exposure photos.

I remember enjoying watching Halley's Comet as a young astronomy geek kid, seeing it with just my eyes (didn't own a camera or telescope).

I can't see neowise with my eyes at all. I've taken really nice photos of it, but that's with a 500mm lens on an equatorial mount and long exposures.

So IIRC Halley was a much better show.

Saw it over the rooftops from my bedroom window at the weekend. Wonderful.

Topped a great week. All the main planets were strung across the early morning sky like Christmas lights.

In Belgium, because of the light pollution, it's impossible to see it with the naked eye.

I could, however, catch a short time-lapse of it with my camera:


Something I don't get is that the comet will come closer to earth in the next days; however, the astronomy sites say it will lose intensity. How can that be possible?

The comet is getting farther away from the sun.

Article claims it's binocs only, but I have seen it with the naked eye two mornings in a row (09 and 10 July).

I could see it with the naked eye in a severely light polluted area but this was after confirming its location with binoculars, I'm not confident I would have found it otherwise.

Already commented with a photo below, but wanted to say I also saw it just fine with naked eye this past morning.

I followed earthsky for sometime, and then stopped. Now I’ve been following Universe Today. The author is intelligent, but something is lacking - and I’m not sure what.

Can others provide a list of review of RSS worthy space blogs?

I like Portaltotheuniverse.org's rss feed. Always something interesting to read.


Centauri Dreams

For those curious about the first image [0] and it's caption ("Gianluca Masi of the Virtual Telescope Project captured Comet NEOWISE on July 7, 2020, along with the International Space Station (dashed line)")

The dashed line is not the ISS but a plane. The ISS doesn't blink ;-)

[0]: https://earthsky.org/upl/2020/07/Gianluca-Masi-comet-NEOWISE...

The dashed line may be an artefact of how such a long exposure is captured - where multiple shorter exposures are taken and stacked on top of each other.

For some reason the charts showing when and where to see it are missing from the page for me. This is with no ad blockers installed, oddly enough. . I'm at 33° N., so I'll check out the morning sky for now, but would like to get more detail about when to see it.

Try wolframalpha.com, enter e.g. "Comet NEOWISE Berlin, 4a.m." (no quotes, replace Berlin with your location and the time with the time you want to watch) and scroll down until you see an image of the sky with the position of the comet on it.

Good luck and enjoy!

It interpreted “Neowise” as a reference to the one that was discovered in 2014. To get the right one, “Comet C/2020 F3 Berlin, 4am”

Thanks for catching that!

This doesn't seem to work for evening, for reference.

I found it using Star Walk 2 on Android. Got my first good look this morning in northern NJ (USA). Snapped a photo with my Pixel 4. Not as good as others you'll see online but not too bad either after a little bit of Photoshop.


Amazing picture! Was this before sunset or sunrise?

It was before sunrise this morning, 7/12, at 4:34a with sunrise happening at 5:36a. (The 5:06a timestamp shown with the link is from the Photoshop edit.)

I actually almost missed it. This posted photo was the first one I took and my Pixel happily did it in astrophotography mode. But the sky was brightening fast and astrophotography stopped triggering. I took a few more with Night Sight but they weren't as good.

The location of'neowise' is shown in Stellarium today (near the Moon) for those using it.

My daughter and I found a hill outside of the city. We could barely make out a smudge in the sky with bare eyes, but binocs and dSLR managed to capture it. Fun!

Here's the best image we could get: https://imgur.com/a/ZOmP3k4


Northerly latitudes is relative. Here at over 61 deg N it does hardly get dark these days. So sky watching is still on hold for a couple of months.

Hypothetically... if you wanted to launch a rocket from the ground and catch this thing... not gonna happen?

It has a retrograde orbit, and its orbit is highly inclined as well. You would have to fight against the Earth's orbit to catch up to it, and would have negligible opportunities for gravitational assists.

Every probe to the outer solar system has leveraged multiple gravitational assists. These would be off the table. Basically your only options is building a super monster rocket and force your way to it based entirely on pure thrust. The rendezvous maneuver would be a monster as well.

I'm not saying it's impossible, but you're probably looking at assembling something in orbit if you really want to go visit the thing.

Thanks for the info, I figured as much but good to know more details. "Alright guys, you have the entire world's money, let's do it".

no, almost certainly not enough delta-v.

Northerly latitudes? The sun doesn’t set so how am I supposed to see this?

I don't get why every Starlink launch, every comet, every ISS or GPS flare I have to download another app / spend ages trying to track down how to see it.

Isn't there like a Monkey script I can grab to add to an app that people can just post?

I do guess it creates some sense of adventure having to seek it out.

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