JACKSON, Wyo. — Photos of the comet NEOWISE, named for the NASA satellite that discovered it, are circulating the internet and dazzling fans. If you haven’t seen it yet, it’s not too late.
Comet NEOWISE will be visible in the night sky for several more days. It will be closest to the earth July 22-23, but it will also appear dimmer each night.
For the next few days, NEOWISE will be visible on the horizon around 45 minutes after sundown. The best way to see it is to get to a dark place with little to no artificial light. To find it, says Wyoming Stargazing Executive Director Samuel Singer, start by finding the Big Dipper. Find the “pointer stars, which are the two stars on the far side of the “bucket” and opposite the “handle.” Draw a line from the right-hand pointer star down the horizon, and look back up from the horizon “about the distance of one or two pointer fingers held at arm’s length,” Singer says.
The comet will appear slightly higher on the horizon each night until it’s gone. It won’t look as bright or dramatic to the naked eye as it does in photos that use a long exposure. Bring binoculars or a telescope to get the best view. But even if all you see is a faint trail of light, this is truly a once in a lifetime viewing opportunity. Once comet NEOWISE leaves our inner solar system, it won’t return for another 6,88 years.