Comet Neowise: How To See It On Long Island – Patchogue, NY Patch

LONG ISLAND Comet Neowise is zooming past the planet, and you'll be able to see it in the skies above Long Island for the next several days. To see the brightest comet in nearly a quarter of a century, all you need is a little patience.

Comet Neowise has been visible in the east-northeast sky with the naked eye about an hour before sunrise for the past month. The comet, which NASA says could become known as the "Great Comet of 2020," is going prime time, though, and this week it is visible in the evening sky.

It will appear in the northwestern sky about an hour after sunset, below the Big Dipper, according to NASA.

Though you'll be able to see it without a small telescope or binoculars, weather permitting, those instruments offer better views.

Sky & Telescope says Comet Neowise will appear just as the last of twilight fades into darkness. The Big Dipper hangs by its handle at this time, so look about three fists below the "bowl."

Comet Neowise will fade after July 19 as it comes closer to our planet. Its closest approach to Earth occurs on July 22, after which it will fade more rapidly and eventually disappear from our solar system.

The comet has brightened 100-fold since June 9 and is only getting better especially for those with an aversion to early mornings.

The comet appears to rise tail first, followed by its bright head or coma, which Space.com said shines "as bright as a first-magnitude star" a designation reserved for some the brightest of stars. For comparison purposes, Polaris, the North Star, is a second-magnitude star. Since magnitude is a logarithmic scale, the comet will appear to be about 2.5 times brighter than Polaris.

Comet Neowise appears low on the horizon, so early morning viewers will need to plan to get away from trees and buildings. It's also competing with a nearly full moon, which can make it hard to see.

Relatively new in the continuum of time, Comet Neowise hasn't made an appearance in our solar system for 6,800 years.

NASA says the comet is an inner-solar system "intruder" that could become known as the Great Comet of 2020. It's large by comet standards, measuring about 3 miles across.

The comet is the brightest to visit Earth since Comet Hale-Bopp made an appearance in 1997.

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Comet Neowise: How To See It On Long Island - Patchogue, NY Patch

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