July's Bright Comet: 2020 F3 NEOWISE

July's Bright Comet: 2020 F3 NEOWISE

July is bringing us some hot days, and a hot new target for amateur astronomers! Comet 2020 F3 NEOWISE is now a naked eye comet, presently visible in the pre-dawn sky!

How to See It

You'll need a clear North-Eastern horizon to make out the comet. By 4:AM, it's several degrees up, and with a good horizon, is clearly visible by the unaided eye. You'll note Venus shinning brightly off to the right, and the bright star Capella above the comet itself, providing a good location aid. The below chart reflects 4:30 AM on July 9th. The best window for viewing is currently between 4:AM - 4:40 AM. After that, the comet starts to get lost in the glare of the morning twilight.

The comet will remain visible in the morning through the middle of July, then will become visible in the evening sky after sunset! The comet is expected to start fading at that point, but may be unpredictable.

About The Photo

The above photo was taken using a William Optics RedCat with a Canon EOS RP Camera riding on a iOptron SkyGuider Pro mount. The photo itself is a stack of 20 five second exposures at ISO 800 aligned and combined in Nebulosity. Final image was cropped down. 

In the photo of the setup at left, Venus can be seen just above the RedCat lens.