WASHINGTON, DC– The just recently found comet Neowise, the brightest to appear in a quarter-century, will show up in the skies above northern Virginia and the District of Columbia for the next couple of weeks.
Catch it now, since it's not due to return for 6,800 years.
The comet, the brightest to go to Earth since Hale-Bopp in 1997, had actually been appearing in the east-northeast sky about an hour before sunrise for the past month. It's now gone prime-time, appearing in the northwestern sky about an hour after sunset each evening.
The next few nights should be amongst the best for seeing Neowise, according to Space.com. Though you'll have the ability to see it without a small telescope or field glasses, those instruments offer better views.
Of course, much depends on the weather condition. Although mostly clear skies are anticipated for Saturday night for the Washington, D.C., area, the National Weather Service anticipated calls for partially cloudy skies on Sunday night, followed by thunderstorm Monday and Tuesday nights.
Sky & & Telescope states Comet Neowise will appear just as the last of twilight fades into darkness. The Big Dipper hangs by its handle at this time, so look about three fists listed below the “bowl.”
The comet will begin to fade after July 19 as it comes closer to our planet. Its closest approach to Earth takes place on July 22, after which it will fade more quickly and eventually vanish from the planetary system.
The comet appears to rise tail first, followed by its intense head or coma, which Space.com stated shines “as bright as a first-magnitude star”– a designation booked for the brightest of stars. For contrast functions, Polaris, the North Star, is a second-magnitude star.
Discovered just in March of this year, Neowise hasn't made an appearance in our planetary system for 6,800 years.
NASA states the comet is an inner-solar system “intruder” that might become called the Great Comet of 2020. It's big by comet standards, determining about 3 miles throughout.