- This event has passed.
Viewing Comet Neowise
July 14, 2020 @ 9:00 pm - August 14, 2020 @ 11:00 pm
Comet C/2020 F3 Neowise has become one of the best comets of the decade, and is now becoming visible in the evening sky. Here’s how to find it:
Find a place with a good view of the north-northwestern horizon. You’ll want a site with as few lights as possible, either nearby or visible in the distance. The comet is about 30 degrees to the west of true north, and 10 degrees above the horizon, at 10:00 p.m. (Your closed fist spans about 10 degrees when held at arm’s length.)
The comet will become visible about 10:00 p.m. It’s easiest in binoculars, but will eventually become easy by naked eye, too. Currently (as of mid July) its tail spans about 5 degrees (half a fist).
The College Hill Reservoir at 24th and Lawrence in Eugene is a good in-town site. From near the pump house there’s a good gap in the trees that lets you see the comet. If you get all the way to the southeast end of the reservoir, the comet should be above the trees to the north-northeast.
You’ll get a better view from out of town. Ideally you’ll go north, east, or west, so the city skyglow won’t be between you and the comet. Telescopes won’t show you the entire comet; they’ll have too much magnification. Binoculars are best.
The comet will move a little bit to the west and a little higher in the sky each night. It’s also visible in the early morning before sunrise, but its evening appearance is higher up and easier to see.