Grab a pair of binoculars—you’ll need it to see this astronomical phenomenon in its full glory!
In the wee hours of the morning, just before daybreak, keen stargazers on Vancouver Island have been spotting a fuzzy ball moving towards the horizon.
This is Comet Neowise, discovered recently in March 2020, and will not return to travel by the Earth for approximately 7,000 years.
According to Space.com, between July 12 and 15, people in the U.S. and Canada can catch a glimpse of the comet travelling over the horizon both at dawn and at dusk, just after sunset.
The comet will be closest to Earth on July 22 and 23 at a distance of 103 million km from the planet, just in time for a crescent moon that promises to not steal the show.
While the comet can be viewed as a small fuzzy ball using the naked eye, binoculars are needed to see its tail.
As for where to look, these Space.com maps provide an accurate visual for the comet’s location on the night sky.
If you’re facing northwest at dusk between July 13 and 19, Neowise will appear at these spots:
On the night of its closest approach to Earth, July 23, this is where to look:
Over the past two days, photographers on Vancouver Island have woken up (or stayed up until!) at the crack of dawn to capture some stunning shots of Comet Neowise.
These are some of our favourites:
During a public broadcast on Wednesday July 15 at 3 p.m. EDT (12 p.m. PST), NASA experts will answer questions about Comet Neowise.
To submit any questions you may have, head over to Twitter and ask away, using the hashtag #AskNASA, or leave a comment in the chat section of Facebook, Periscope, or YouTube.