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Comet NEOWISE: How & When to See It


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    Comet NEOWISE was discovered March 27th and can be seen throughout the month of July. Here are some of the best tips to be able to see the comet before it disappears for 6,800 years.

    1. NEOWISE will be closest to Earth on July 22nd, 2020. That's the best day to view it with the naked eye, but you should be able to see it for the rest of July, perhaps with some equipment.

    2. NASA says the best time to view is after sunset, generally speaking. I would recommend using a skygazing app on your phone as it uses your location to give you the best times for your area, including rise, peak and set times.

    3. NEOWISE is located just south of the Big Dipper. That's where in the sky to look, and again, recommend using a stargazing app or printing off a sky map so you know exactly where to look.

    3. Your viewing window will be about 1-2 hours each night. Remember to give your eyes at least 30 minutes to adjust to the dark.

    4. Seek out a place away from city lights and doesn't have tall buildings or mountains obstructing your view.

    5. Use a telescope or a good pair of binoculars to give you the best view. With your naked eye, NEOWISE will just look like a fuzzy star, but comes into better focus with magnification. And some nights you maybe won't see it without magnification.


    Share more tips here if you have some. This is a rare event. Were you able to see it? Post your experience, location, etc here.

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    It seems as though many folks are complaining about how hard it is to see in certain regions. Some in the American South say they can hardly make it out, but yet in Colorado, it's spectacular.
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    I've looked 3 of the last 5 nights in Chicago at different times according to recommendations and haven't see it.
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    Kos45 Wrote: I've looked 3 of the last 5 nights in Chicago at different times according to recommendations and haven't see it.
    Have you tried looking with binoculars or a telescope? Its starting to fade now so will be much harder to see with naked eye.
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    It's true, NEOWISE is fading from our view, and as the moon gets brighter over the next week, it will get harder and harder to see without tools. Not impossible, not probably very unlikely with each passing day.

    This might help.

    Last few days of seeing comet NEOWISE, but expert says techniques are important

    Mike Murray, Program Director at the Delta College Planetarium, says you can still see NEOWISE with the naked eye, but it’s getting real hard. He strongly urges us to use binoculars, and an astronomy technique called “averted vision.”

    On binoculars, Murray advises that the bigger the lenses, the better the viewing. The lenses are the bigger glass circles at the sky-side of the binoculars. The lens is the part of the binocular that allows light in. The bigger lenses allow more light in and better viewing. He suggests 50 mm lenses.

    He also suggests a magnification factor of at least 7, but 10 factor is better.