On July 9, 2020, astronaut Robert Behnken captured an image of comet NEOWISE from the International Space Station. Behnken posted the image on Twitter and wrote, "Night sky, just before dawn from @Space_Station. Stars, cities, spaceships, and a comet!" Image Credit: NASA
Those of us in the Northern Hemisphere can catch a glimpse of comet NEOWISE through July and then not again for 6,800 years. So, suffice to say, it’s pretty much now or never.
The comet gets its name from NASA’s Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) Mission, which discovered the comet on March 27. According to NASA, the comet looks like “a fuzzy star with a bit of a tail” unless viewed through binoculars or a telescope. You’ll see it after sunset in the northwest sky below the Big Dipper. Of course, those of us in the city may have a harder time spotting it due to all the competing light sources.
For those of you who haven’t seen comet NEOWISE yet, we’ve rounded up a few local images for your perusal. Learn more about the comet and how to see it here.