Tag Archives: Kahoutek

Chasing NEOWISE

I’ve been wanting to check out our newest celestial body for a while now, but tonight was the night. If you hadn’t heard, we have a comet in the nighttime sky once more. (Technically, it’s there all the time. You can only see it at night.)

Comets are amazing, and we really only get to see one or two in a lifetime. There are more of them around, but seeing one with the naked eye is kind of rare.

It was visible in the pre-dawn, but I missed it then. Now that it’s on its way back to wherever it came from, it’s visible after dark.

I tried a couple of days ago, but during the longest days of the year, it wasn’t dark before I absolutely had to go to bed. I was scheduled to work in the office the next day.

Last night I had to stay up to 11:00 to see it. I’m in Mountain Daylight time if you need to adjust your timing. I think it’s awesome, but it’s no Kahoutek or Hale Bop. Those were impressive comets.

They say NEOWISE is brighter now than when Halley’s Comet made its most recent pass. I looked for that one, and never saw it. Kind of puts some of this into perspective for me.

NEOWISE is there, but you can barely see it. I almost had to spot it from my peripheral vision. I was looking right at it and couldn’t find it. After spotting it, there was no missing it. It’s so pale, I couldn’t get a photograph.

You can stack the deck if you want to see it. I had to deal with a bit of light pollution in my neighborhood. Drive out of town where it’s more dark and it will help. In fact, I might do that myself this weekend.

If I had used binoculars it probably would help, too. I have half a dozen pairs, but I kind of wanted to see it with the naked eye.

To give you a head start, it’s between the horizon and the Big Dipper, and a little to the left. It’s there, have faith. Drive into the country, spread a blanket on the ground, take a bottle of wine, could make a nice evening. If you have something more upscale than an iPhone you might even get a picture for your blog.

Even though it’s a weaker appearance, it’s still awe inspiring. These things were considered harbingers at one time. In a year of murder hornets, COVID, riots in the streets, political meltdown, economic disasters, and more, maybe we don’t need a harbinger for the next event.

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