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Comet NEOWISE: What time can you see the comet? How to see Comet NEOWISE at night?

Sebastian Kettley

July. 13, 2020

The icy Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE, which was only discovered in March this year, is closing the gap between itself and Earth. On July 23, NEOWISE will come within 64 million miles of Earth or about 400 times further away than the Moon. But the comet and its distinct tail are already visible to the naked eye and astronomers, professional and amateur alike, are touting its beauty.
Amateur astrophysicist and astronomer David Blanchflower tweeted today (July 13): "With the many thousands of NEOWISE pictures being taken I suspect a certain well known Astronomy Photographer of the Year competition will be receiving a lot of cometary entries."
Dave Eagle, an astronomer based in Northamptonshire, said: "Just got in after a third night in a row. Unheard of!
"What a spectacular comet weekend that has been. I'll be processing images tomorrow. Night all."
According to the US space agency NASA , the comet is prolific enough it might come to be known as the Great Comet of 2020.
Comet NEOWISE: The beautiful comet is visible in the northern skies (Image: PA)
Comet NEOWISE: The cluster of rock and ice was discovered in March this year (Image: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Naval Research Lab/Parker Solar Probe/Brendan Gallagher)
What time to see Comet NEOWISE at night this month? Comet NEOWISE is expected to be visible all throughout July. The comet is best seen in the Northern Hemisphere and on clear nights. For the best results, you will want to get up early and before sunrise. Astronomer Eddie Irizarry said in an article for EarthSky.org: "Try going outside about an hour before sunrise, and don't just look once, look as the minutes tick by for the comet to rise high enough in the dawn sky for you to spot it.
So you need to look to the north, look to the northwest Dr Rober Massey, Royal Astronomical Society
"However - especially for observers at more southerly latitudes - the comet is becoming more difficult to see in the morning sky.
"It's just not visible for very long before sunrise."
You can visit a website like TimeandDate.com to find out what time exactly the Sun will rise in your location.
According to the Royal Astronomical Society, the comet will become increasingly visible in the evening hours later into the month.
Comet NEOWISE: You might be able to see the comet without a pair of binoculars (Image: PA)
Comet NEOWISE: The differences between asteroids, comets and meteors (Image: EXPRESS)
How to see Comet NEOWISE this month? Look for the comet in the north to northwestern skies between now and July 31. You will need to make sure you have a clear view of the horizon. If possible, stay away from sources of light pollution, such as street lights and cars. Comet NEOWISE should be easy to spot through a pair of binoculars and possibly even the naked eye.
Dr Rober Massey of the Royal Astronomical Society said: "It was last in the solar system 4,500 years ago, it won't come back for nearly 7,000 years, so it's a good time to go look at it because we're not going to get a second chance.
"It'll be best seen in the morning sky in the first half of July, not far from the bright star Capella.
"And it becomes more obvious in the evening sky later in the month.
"So you need to look to the north, look to the northwest and you should be able to see it there."
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