Comet NEOWISE has captivated stargazers in recent weeks and if you haven’t seen it yet, you’re in luck. The astronomy learning website Slooh will host a free live webcast tonight (July 18).
The comet, officially known as C/2020 F3 NEOWISE, is currently visible in the northwestern sky just after sunset for skywatchers in the Northern Hemisphere. Clear, dark skies away from city lights and an unobstructed view of the northwestern horizon are needed.
Tonight, Slooh will host a live webcast at 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT) and you can watch it live here, courtesy of Slooh. You can also watch it directly from Slooh here, as well as via the company’s YouTube page here. The webcast is a chance for skywatchers in the Southern Hemisphere (where Comet NEOWISE is not visible) to see the comet, and an opportunity for other stargazers affected by city lights or cloudy skies.
See Comet NEOWISE?
(Image credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Naval Research Lab/Parker Solar Probe/Brendan Gallagher)
If you spot Comet NEOWISE, let us know! Send images and comments to [email protected] to share your views.
“It’s a truly magical experience to witness such a large comet gracing our skies!” Slooh’s chief astronomical officer Paul Cox said in a statement. “We’ll be telling viewers how they can see it from their backyards, and Slooh members will continue to watch it in Slooh’s live telescope views every night this week.”
Comet NEOWISE was discovered in March by NASA’s NEOWISE space telescope and made its closest approach to the sun in July 3.In early July, the comet was only visible in the predawn sky, but on July 15 it transitioned to an evening sky object visible to the naked eye.
The comet can be seen below the Big Dipper star pattern in the northwestern sky.
“If you’re looking at the sky without the help of observation tools, Comet NEOWISE will likely look like a fuzzy star with a bit of a tail, so using binoculars or a small telescope is recommended to get the best views of this object,” NASA said in an advisory.
Comet NEOWISE offers a rare treat for skywatchers as it’s been 23 years since a comet has appeared so bright in the night sky, NASA scientists have said.
That comet was Comet Hale-Bopp, which became a brilliant night sky object in 1997 and could be seen by the naked eye for 18 months.
If you snap an amazing photo or video of Comet NEOWISE in the night sky? Let us know! To share images and videos for a possible story or gallery, send images and comments in to [email protected].
Email Tariq Malik at [email protected] or follow him @tariqjmalik. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Instagram.