If you don't catch the comet before it inevitably fades away in August or sooner, you'll have to wait awhile for its next trip through the inner solar system, now estimated to happen in the year 8786. 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.
Caroline Roberts, who also coordinates the U-I's Astronomy Laboratory, says to spot this spectacle in the sky, you'll either have to stay up late or set an alarm to get up early.
A shiny celestial beauty, Comet Neowise, which began showing in the night skies earlier this month will appear again tonight in the Humboldt heavens. According to the agency, the comet is expected to appear higher above the horizon within the next couple of days. The comet then gradually sits lower in the sky over the course of about one-half hour before disappearing below the horizon. If you hold out your arm, 10 degrees is roughly the part of the sky covered by your fist. He added that on July 23, the comet will pass its closest to the Earth at a distance of 103.6 million kilometres.
With clear skies overhead and Comet NEOWISE now visible just after sunset, this week will bring great viewing opportunities for those wanting to try and see a glimpse of the comet. While NEOWISE, which will look like a faint star with a short tail, will be visible to the unaided eye, binoculars or a small telescope will significantly enhance the display. The blue tail is an ion tail created of particles charged by the sunshine.
NEOWISE is visible only to observers in the Northern Hemisphere and should remain bright enough to spot through the middle of August. Cruff additionally recounts, "When I parked the auto at the New Melones bridge, the comet was so bright that I could see it through my windshield". A digital camera placed on a tripod and set to a five or 10 second exposure could produce an incredible image.
"If you have clear skies, it's hard to miss the comet even from the heavily light-polluted cities!" He cautions that we have the standard uncertainty of how extensive the comet will be visible. NEOWISE hails from the outer reaches of the solar system known as the Oort Cloud, a graveyard of hundreds of billions of the icy bodies.
Comet NEOWISE over South Lyon, MI on Tuesday, July 14, 2020. Since they retain the building blocks of planets in their frozen ice, they can provide scientists with important information about our origins.