COMET NEOWISE: Where to look from West Seattle tonight and/or early tomorrow

COMET NEOWISE: Where to look from West Seattle tonight and/or early tomorrow

COMET NEOWISE: Where to look from West Seattle tonight and/or early tomorrow

Until this week, the comet was visible only to early birds willing to rise before dawn. Twenty three years to be exact.

Todd Slisher, Government Director and astronomer at Longway Planetarium in Flint, claims, " I'd say that this comet for visible attractiveness tops any that I have witnessed in my life time other than Hale Bopp, Hyukataka, and Comet West.

Have you missed the comet Neowise?

The NEOWISE comet has been delighting skygazers around the world this month, with photographers turning their lenses upward and capturing it above landmarks across the Northern Hemisphere.

Comet NEOWISE captured near Ann Arbor, MI taken by Brian Ottum. From about July 12 to July 30, evening viewers can see the comet in the northwest starting around an hour after sunset.

Star gazers are in for a treat this month, as a comet that won't reappear for 6,800 years will be visible in United Kingdom skies. When we reach Sunday, the celestial orphan will be 20 degrees (roughly two fists) above the horizon.

Instead, the comet, known officially as C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) - or just comet Neowise for short - is providing an unexpected bright spot in the lives of quarantined astronomers. While the comet is possible to see with the naked eye, Brian Ottum says it will be very hard to find without binoculars. If you have binoculars or a telescope, you'll be able to see more of the comet and its dust tail.

At some point in the comet's trajectory, ultraviolet light radiating from the Sun becomes strong enough that it heats up and ionizes the comet's carbon monoxide - the weakest ice-based molecule in the makeup of a comet, according to the magazine. In the process, they spend a major part of the orbital time in the outer parts of the Solar System.

Meanwhile, Americans hoping to catch a glimpse from the Northeast to the Four Corners may have to wait until the weekend for the next chance to spot Comet NEOWISE. A digital camera placed on a tripod and set to a five or 10 second exposure could produce an incredible image. "And it's a transient experience and there's some immediacy to it - you have to use it, or lose it". For a good view, one needs to be in areas far from the polluting city lights.

The comet's tail is a byproduct of the solar wind burning off the icy material from the comet head or rock. This ion tail consists of gases that have been ionized by losing electrons in the Sun's intense light. According to Backyard Astronomer Gary Boyle, they normally live in the deep depths of space however, every once and while one gets thrown into our solar system. It is still operational, and NASA repurposed the satellite in 2013 to provide information on comets and asteroids.

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