Update – Seeing Comet NEOWISE At The Jersey Shore This July
Last week I shared the story of comet NEOWISE (officially, C/2020 F3), which is currently passing by our home planet on a journey that won't bring it back around for another 6,000+ years (that is, if it even survives that long).
While this past weekend was notable because the comet became visible in the early evening for the first time following a few weeks of pre-dawn viewing, clouds and the comet's location low on the horizon may have had you frustrated on Sunday night.
The good news is the fact that as July progresses, NEOWISE will slowly get higher above the horizon.
According to the excellent skywatching website EarthSky, right now, the comet is only a few degrees above the horizon in the early evening, but as we get further into July, the comet will appear higher and higher in the early night sky, with its closest approach to Earth on July 23rd.
Here in Ocean County, you'll want to step outside after it gets dark a little after sunset, which this time of year rolls around in the 8:25 P.M. range. If the sky is clear and you have a good view of the horizon, look to the northwest and you might just very well spot what scientists are calling, "one of the brightest comets in decades".
I don't know about you, but I'm definitely going to step outside every night. After being foiled by the combination of clouds and the trees in my neighborhood obstructing the low horizon, I'm hoping not to miss this one!
You can click here for more about NEOWISE and how to spot it from EarthSky.org.