Published on July 16th, 2020 | by AberdeenMagazine

Catch A Comet Quick

Get out your binoculars and see newly discovered comet Neowise blasting across the northwest night sky. It only comes around once every 6,800 years. For the best viewing, Aberdeen Backyard Astronomy recommend you drive out of Aberdeen just after sunset, about 9:30 p.m., and point those binoculars northwest near the Big Dipper, down and to the right. You should see a bright spot with a brilliant tail. That’s Neowise. After you’ve spent the night taking it in, say goodbye because it won’t come around again until the year 8820. According to NASA, the ball of ice and dust is 3 miles across and moves 40 miles each second, though it’ll look much smaller and stiller from here. It’s so bright even the naked eye can see it because it’s in a scorching hot spot close to the sun. As gas and dust melt away, the particles fly back into its brilliant tails. NASA discovered it using its namesake space survey, the Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) on March 27. July is your only chance to see the out-of-this-world phenomenon for generations to come. For up to date instructions on finding Neowise, check out Aberdeen Backyard Astronomy on Facebook.

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