NEOWISE | Evening and Morning Views

We were finally blessed with clear skies and got our first views of C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE), or Comet NEOWISE. Most sightings by others thus far have been in the early pre-dawn hours. This week, NEOWISE will become a better evening apparition after 9:30 pm.

Last evening on 12 July, we went to our viewing site with a clear view of the northwest horizon. It was predicted to be at a direction of 328˚ and an altitude of 6˚ above the horizon. (West = 270˚, North = 360˚) Your fist at arm’s length is about 10˚ tall. We scanned with binoculars for several minutes as the sky slowly darkened. There it was.

Canon PowerShot SX60 HS | ISO1600 | 1 sec | Full Zoom

This wide angle shot shows how small the comet and tail actually are. We were not able to see it without binoculars until our eyes were more dark adapted. Even then, it was not obvious.

This morning on 13 July I heading to the viewing site at 4:30 am. Since the Earth had rotated for 7 hours since the previous view, NEOWISE was to appear above the northeast horizon. Directions were 37˚ and altitude 11˚. (North = 0˚ and East = 90˚) By 4:45 am I was set up and easily found it with binoculars.

Canon PowerShot SX60 HS | ISO1600 | 1 sec | Full Zoom

A sense of scale is difficult to convey. I turned to the south and found Venus, then the Moon. Here are NEOWISE and the Moon compared at the same scale.

Same Scale | Full Zoom

It has been a long time since a comet has been the center of so much attention. The last one I enjoyed was Hale-Bopp in 1997. I hope you get your opportunity to see NEOWISE. Get some binoculars to help find it. Check online to know where to look in the sky. The EarthSky website will give regular updates. Happy hunting.

14 thoughts on “NEOWISE | Evening and Morning Views

  1. I’m so jealous! I’m asleep at that time in the evening, so was prowling outside at 4 a.m. (It was too low and in the trees at 4:30 yesterday.) Still no luck, so I slipped out the gate and trotted down the street with my binoculars to find a lower area of sky. Still no comet! I may have to get out of town!

  2. Nice photos. My experience viewing comets has been dismal, so I appreciate seeing them any way I can. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Well done. This is most certainly the most photographed comet for a long time. I wish I had the opportunity but it’s been cloudy every day for nearly two weeks.

    • Thank you. You are so right about missing some beautiful things while we sleep. That’s why I nap every day. 🙂

  4. Great photos Jim. The C-virus cancelled my summer visit to the USA and no chance of seeing NEOWISE here at the equator. Thanks for sharing your views!

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