BRIGHTEST COMET FOR US SINCE HALE-BOPP: Comet NEOWISE Shines Brightly Low In Northeast Horizon At 4:45am Local Morning Time Through The Week


The first naked eye comet to be seen in darker skies of this magnitude since Comet Hale-Bopp in 1997 is an easy target for anyone up at 4:45am local time and looking northeast towards the sunrise through this week and a treat in binoculars.  Read more for details …

A comet visiting from the most distant parts of our solar system is putting on a spectacular nighttime display. Named Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE, the comet made its once-in-our-lifetimes close approach to the Sun on July 3, 2020, and will cross outside Earth’s orbit on its way back to the outer parts of the solar system by mid-August.

The comet cruised just inside Mercury’s orbit on July 3. This very close passage by the Sun is cooking the comet’s outermost layers, causing gas and dust to erupt off the icy surface and creating a large tail of debris. And yet the comet has managed to survive this intense roasting.

From my vantage point in Corona, California I can see it rising after 4:30am local time.  I spotted it as the tail was only visible above the hill northeast of my location and then a minute later the bright head (coma) part of the comet came swinging in with the best visual between 4:40am and 5:00am until the brighter skies took over and faded it.  Look for a star-like object with a tail pointing upwards and you will know you have the comet.  Binoculars bring it out very well so if you have any then look for it then.  Remember, it is very very low, about a fist length up at arms length.

The image above in the article is about what you can see what the naked eye.  The coma and tail are highly visible even in light polluted areas even in cities like Los Angeles.
The photographer is The Transient Astronomer.  The goal of the Transient Astronomer is to further education, increase understanding, and observation of the Cosmos.
Click here and follow him on Facebook for astronomy related photos he takes.

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Also take a look at this photo.  Astronauts onboard the International Space Station shot this photo of NEOWISE over the Earth’s horizon. Click photo for larger image.

This article was made on the National Weather Force system.
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