July 16, 2020
Comet Neowise has been making an early morning and late evening appearance for a week or two and we were so excited to get out there. Well, to be honest, we weren’t motivated enough to see it during its morning apparitions, but the evening ones gave us hope. We have a good western horizon near us so we ventured out a few night ago. There were maybe a dozen or so people sharing the view with us on Monday night, and about 30 on Tuesday. We used binoculars and were able to see it once the sky got pretty dark, around 9:15. On Tuesday, the comet had set behind the horizon around 9:40, but that is going to keep getting later for the next few days. It’s quite lovely – nice long tail, slight hint of a split, large coma. Naked eye, it’s a fuzzy star with an obvious tail when the sky is dark enough. Be forewarned – there were significant crowds last night. We wore masks and stayed away from the crowds but this was the biggest crowd I’ve been in since March. Where to look? Find the Big Dipper, which is pretty high, around sunset. Comet Neowise is LOW LOW LOW below the Big Dipper. Unless you’ve got fantastic dark skies, you won’t be able to see it without binoculars or a telescope until sky is very dark – any hint of dusk will wash it out. Here’s one of Wayne’s photos of Comet Neowise, taken without magnification. Have you seen it yet?