Comet Neowise

July 18, 2020 @ 9:45 pm – 10:45 pm America/Chicago Timezone

Rejoice, Northern Hemispherians of Earth! First observed on March 27th by NASA’s Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE), these next few evenings are your best and last chance to see this comet until its return around year 8,820.

Just after sunset, look below the Big Dipper in the northwest sky. Binoculars or a small telescope are recommended. It may be hard to distinguish with the naked eye until you first locate it with the help of a little magnification.

The comet may be visible for the remainder of July. Each night, the comet will appear higher in the sky, but it will grow more dim every day.

Apparently, this comet has two tails: The first tail is blue and made of gas and ions. There is also a red separation in the first tail caused by high amounts of sodium. The second tail is a golden color and is made of dust, like the tail of Comet Hale–Bopp.

My condolences to our friends in the Southern Hemisphere. Then again, you guys get this year’s total solar eclipse on December 14th…