INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — For the past several early mornings, Hoosiers could see a rare glimpse of a comet racing across the galaxy.
The comet called C/2020 F3 is nearly 64 million miles away from Earth.
It was discovered by NASA’s Near-Earth Object Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) mission back in March so this newly discovered comet is referred to as NEOWISE.
The comet has been visible — usually with binoculars, occasionally with the naked eye — for the past week just before daybreak and just above the horizon line. However, visibility should be better as that time frame now shifts to the evening hours over the next several days.
Starting Tuesday night, the comet should be visible in the northwestern sky about 80 minutes after sunset. This would be approximately between 10:30 p.m.-10:45 p.m. in central Indiana. The added bonus, is that there will be several more nights of viewing the comet over the horizon. In fact, the comet should get higher up in the night sky each and every night through July 22.
Some tips for good viewing: Stay away from any light pollution. City lights will limit your viewing experience. Get somewhere were the view of the lower portions of the sky are not obstructed by buildings, trees, etc. Binoculars will enhance the viewing experience. Many have reported being able to see the comet with their naked eye during some of the past few mornings, but it appears more like a blurry star. The tail of the comet is easily visible with a pair of binoculars.
If you catch a glimpse of NEOWISE this week, we’d love to see it. Please share it with us with our Storm Track 8 Weather App.
If you’re planning a viewing party, let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org.