Comet Neowise Is Lighting Up The Sky, Being Closest To Earth on July 23

Brace yourselves to be dazzled by Comet Neowise that will be bright enough to be seen by the naked eye at nighttime during this month of July 2020. Nighttime gazers in Norfolk have already seen it and now it is our turn.

Many comets break up when they pass the sun due to the extreme heat, but Comet Neowise survived its’ travels past the sun on the 3rd of July with no harm, a critical point in its journey as this was when it was closest to the sun!

Astrophotographers were treated to a spectacular display and the opportunity to capture some incredible photos of the comet when it made its appearance above the horizon just before dawn. This is the time that the Comet Neowise will be most easily seen in the period just before dawn into the evening sky, as it moves further from the Sun and nearer to the Earth.

Visibility at the time of first light until the 11th of July will be the optimum time – According to NASA solar system ambassador Eddie Irizarry

It is envisaged that as the Comet moves below the horizon, the adaptation of appearing at first light will change to appearing as the light fades. It is also said that visibility will also be good around the 15th to 16th of July in the evening time. Going into the second half of July will allow for easier sightings as it will be higher up than where you may have, or would hopefully have first seen it when it was closer to the horizon.

The general consensus for good sightings it to first find it with binoculars or a telescope that is easier to do when looking for that telltale tail it leaves behind.  Once you spot it, then have a look with your naked eye.

 

Astronauts on the International Space Station have also spotted the comet, but then of course they have the ultimate viewing location to spot it too!

It is common knowledge that Comets are quite tricky to confirm exactly when you can sight them, as they have a tendency to break up and burn out.  The nearest it will be to Earth and the best time to see this Comet, is on the 23rd of July and the hope is that it will maintain its’ bright glow, or perhaps even be brighter that it has been imagined it will be! Won’t that be amazing?

On the 24th and 25th of July the Comet will be appearing higher up, so if you miss it on the 23rd you will have another 2 opportunities.

In 1997 Hale-Bopp Comet was a”Great Comet” sighting that loosely means; it was easily seen by the naked eye with it being so bright and visible. There is not clear explanation of what exactly a “Great Comet” is but, for those that are optimists, there is a possibility that Comet Neowise might just be one too!

Travels of the Comet Neowise making it’s debut show for us during the evening in the middle of the month, will then be followed by a journey from the northeastern horizon towards the northwest and western skies.

An excellent resource to use to find out what is happening over the next coming weeks is TheSkyLive application, that gives detailed information for you to discover night sky maps and information to take you on your Comet sighting journey.

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

A very valid point to consider is that if you miss this comet before it has dissipated by August, or perhaps even sooner (as we know how fickle Comets can be!) the wait until the next one that we will be able to see travelling through the inner solar system is many, many years away.  It is envisioned that this may only happen in the year 8786! So, don’t miss this sighting.

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