How to view Comet NEOWISE

Comet NEOWISE will be closest to Earth on July 22-23, 2020. It will pass at some 64 million miles (103 million km) from our planet. The good news is that – if the comet continues looking great – the view during the night of closest approach should be nice for many of us at temperate latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere. Although binoculars are required for the celestial visitor, it will be visible at the same time we see a beautiful crescent (not too bright) moon.

Comet and aurora against a starry medium blue sky, over a body of water.

The wonderful binocular comet that’s been gracing our early morning skies – Comet NEOWISE – is now also visible in the evening, best seen with optical aid, for latitudes like those in the northern U.S. and Canada. James Younger captured this image of NEOWISE and an aurora (the green glow on the right in this photo) on July 14, in the evening, from Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. Thank you, James!


Chart in early dawn sky with Venus, moon, Capella, location of comet barely above horizon.

Location of Comet NEOWISE just before dawn on or around July 17, as seen from U.S., facing northeast about 45 to 60 minutes before sunrise. As the days progress forward,  look for the comet to the north (left) of the location marked on this chart. Venus is the very bright planet, near the bright star Aldebaran now. while Capella is a bright star seen toward the northeast now at dawn.  Illustration by Eddie Irizarry using Stellarium.


Comet in the sky above a lake, also reflecting in the lake.

A wonderful binocular comet has been gracing our early morning skies, and now it’s visible in the evening as well, with optical aid. At present, it’s best seen from latitudes like those in the northern U.S. and Canada, but the comet will be becoming easier to see as the weeks pass. The comet is called C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE). This image is from Bob King – aka AstroBob – in Duluth, Minnesota. He wrote: “My first view of Comet NEOWISE at dusk instead of dawn from a lake near Duluth on July 11. Comets and water naturally go together as they’re thought responsible in part for delivering water to the early Earth.” Thank you, Bob!


Thank You to Eddie Irizarry in 



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