Weather blog: Comet Neowise could be visible from the ArkLaTex

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Comet Neowise soars in the horizon of the early morning sky in this view from the near the grand view lookout at the Colorado National Monument west of Grand Junction, Colo., Thursday, July 9, 2020. The newly discovered comet is streaking past Earth, providing a celestial nighttime show after buzzing the sun and expanding its tail. (Conrad Earnest via AP)

When was the last time you were able to view a comet as it zooms past Earth? Chances are it’s been a while, or maybe you’ve never seen one. Comet Neowise just finished cruising around the sun early last week and is now on its way back out into the solar system. For the next few weeks it will be visible from our area.

Thankfully, we are in the middle of a rather dry weather pattern so clouds shouldn’t be too much of an issue if you want to head outside and try you luck at capturing a glimpse.

There is a cool website that you can visit to see when and where to best view the comet. StellariumWeb provides you a look at where the comet will be at certain times of the night. All you have to do is allow the site to access your location and then click on the time tool at the bottom right-hand side of the page to see where the comet will be. You can select different days and use the slider to select a certain time.

Comet Neowise will be viewable just above the NW horizon shortly after sunset. Courtesy: StellariumWeb
Comet Neowise will be viewable just above the NE horizon shortly before sunrise. Courtesy: StellariumWeb

The comet may be viewable shortly after sunset over the northwestern sky just above the horizon. It might be visible with the naked eye, but binoculars may be needed to catch a better view. NASA suggests that the best viewing could be shortly before sunrise over the northeastern sky. Keep in mind that it will be very close to the horizon so make sure you have a clear view of the horizon.

Don’t wait too long to try your luck. Once Neowise is gone, it will take over 6,000 years before it returns. The Stellarium site suggests that we only have a few mornings left to see it. After that, you may have to try your luck in the evening in the northwestern sky. Good Luck!

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