With COVID-19, you may not be able to get your kids to the planetarium that quickly. But if you’re interested in astronomy, you’re in luck because we should be able to see a comet tonight. Known as Comet C / 2020 F3 (NEOWISE) For scientific reasons, it was seen a few times at dawn this month, but will be switched to dusk this week. That’s how you see it.
How to see the NEOWISE comet
According to Earth sky, starting around the 12th-15th July (well today) the comet becomes visible at dusk (shortly after sunset). It will be low on the northwest horizon. If the comet stays a bit bright, we may be able to see it at dusk towards the end of the month and appear a little higher in the sky.
Use binoculars to see it better – although some people have reported that once you spot the comet with binoculars, you may be able to see it without knowing where to look. However, if you want to see the comet’s split tail, binoculars are your best bet.
How big is this comet? “From the infrared signature, we can see that the core is about 5 km long [3 miles] across … and is covered with sooty, dark particles that were left over when our solar system was formed 4.6 billion years ago. ” Joseph Masiero, NEOWISE Deputy Principal Researcher at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory Earth Sky said.
But that’s not it! The comet will be closest to Earth on July 22nd and 23rd. Here’s something The earth sky says about it::
It will be approximately 103 million kilometers from our planet. The good news is that if the comet continues to look good, the view should be nice on the night of the closest approach. Although binoculars may be required for the heavenly visitor, it is also visible when we see a beautiful crescent moon (not too bright).
If you want to see NEOWISE, this is your best chance this month: The next time this comet is visible again from Earth, it will be around 8,786.