Comet Neowise C/2020 F3

Comet Neowise 2020 (C/2020 F3)
Comet Neowise (C/2020 F3) Credit: Michael Mattiazzo, Swan Hill, Australia

Could this be third time lucky? After the disappointments of comet’s SWAN and ATLAS, a new kid on the block as arrived. Comet NEOWISE (designated C/2020 F3 NEOWISE) was discovered on 27 March, 2020 by NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer telescope.

At the time of writing (mid-June, 2020) , the comet was at visual magnitude 7.0. The above image was taken by Michael Mattiazzo on 10th June from Swan Hill, Australia while the comet was still quite close to the sun.

It’s predicted that this comet could dramatically increase in brightness as the icy rock flirts with the Sun in July. Perihelion is on July 3, 2020 where the comet could reach 2nd or 3rd magnitude (well within the realm of naked eye visibility).

[UPDATE July, 2020] Comet NEOWISE has brightened to magnitude 1 taking it easily in to the realms of naked eye visibility. However, the comet remains deep in the twilight morning glow having recently passed Perihelion. C/2020 F3 is now certainly one to watch as it slowly heads north out of twilight through the constellations of Auriga, Lynx and Ursa Major through July; ideally placed for northern hemisphere observation.

Many amateur astronomers would been forgiven for feeling a bit skeptical about the forecasts; given that two previous comets had very similar forecasts then fizzled out once they got too close to the Sun. Some in the field are saying this one might just put on a better show and it appears to be following that path. This comes off the light curve of Comet Neowise which shows more promise than the light curves of the other two comets.

SOHO had a front-row seat for Comet NEOWISE

On 22nd June, Comet NEOWISE entered the field of view of the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory’s C3 coronagraph. This allowed us all to watch the comet online regardless of its fate. Below is an image showing the comet pass through the camera’s field of view between 22-27 June, 2020.

Comet NEOWISE as seen by SOHO. June 2020
Comet NEOWISE as seen through SOHO. Credit: NASA

Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) Star Finder Charts

Looking northwest after sunset

Comet C/2020 F3 Neowise - Star Finder Chart
Click to enlarge

Looking northeast before sunrise

Where is Comet NEOWISE? Finderchart July, 2020
Click to enlarge

 

2 Comments

  1. I have some great images of Neowise from this morning.
    Send e-mail or other address if you would like to upload.
    Nikon 5100 300 mm f4.5 4 and up to 15 sec exposures.
    Tail covers the full width of the f.o.v.
    David Rees.

5 Trackbacks / Pingbacks

  1. How, When And Where You Can See Comets NEOWISE And Lemmon During July – Newslive.Space
  2. Get Ready Comet NEOWISE (C/2020 F3) May Put a Big Show Soon!? – Bruneiastronomy.org
  3. Get Ready For Two Comets: How, When And Where You Can See Comets NEOWISE And Lemmon During July - Science and Tech News
  4. Bright Comets of 2020 - Comet Watch
  5. Comet Neowise will be visible in the sky above UK this month | Daily Mail Online

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