How to see Comet NEOWISE

Posted by Eddie Irizarry in SPACE | July 27, 2020

Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) isn’t what astronomers call a great comet. But it’s a wonderful binocular comet that began gracing our early morning skies in early July. Now it’s visible in the evening, as soon as the sky gets really dark. We’ve been hearing from people throughout the Northern Hemisphere who’ve seen this comet, and we’ve heard from a few who have spotted it from Southern Hemisphere locations.

Comet NEOWISE was closest to Earth on July 23, passing some 64 million miles (103 million km) from our planet. Many observers have reported that – once you spot it with binoculars – you can remove them and glimpse this comet as a fuzzy object, using only the unaided eye.

Using binoculars or other optical aid is a must, though, if you want to see Comet NEOWISE’s splendid split tail. If you don’t have binocs, but do have a good camera, a great alternative is to capture a few-seconds-long exposure image of the approximate area of the sky. Try at different magnification or zoom settings, and the results should reveal the comet’s tail.