Comet Neowise

Here’s one to look out for: Comet Neowise C/2020 F3. “It is set to make its closest approach to Earth on July 22” apparently*, but can be seen until then.

I spotted this photograph of it on DeviantArt and looked into when and where to look out for it.

From the UK, “a couple of hours before sunrise”, the advise I read was to “look towards the north-west”.

So last night, sleeping in my tent as I had been doing recently, I had with me my camera and tripod, alarm set, and a flask of coffee. I’ve learned from these attempts at waking myself up and getting motivated at silly-o’clock and thought a swig of coffee after being roused by the alarm would do the trick, and indeed it did.

I peeped out the tent shortly after and was pleased to see clear-enough skies to see stars; the sky was already quite bright though with the sun not dipping all that low beneath the horizon at this time of year.

My garden faces more south-westerly, so the cat and I got out of the tent for a wander round the house to get a better view of the morning sky from each direction (or as he thought, to play games at 3am)… 7/8th of the sky was clear, except for hazy cloud obscuring the… north-west. Typical. There were nice clouds in the east though.

I started to try and better figure out where best to look for this comet; I had seen a picture or two illustrating the trajectory; the comet had already passed closest to the sun, that kind of meant it should indeed be either a morning or evening “star”, and therefore, at that time, in the east or west respectively. Why then was the advice to look north-west?*

I continued my peering at the sky for a while, enjoying those sunrise clouds, wondering if Neowise was lurking beyond them and this is what I saw glimpses of:

I’m not completely certain that’s comet Neowise, but besides the whispy clouds, it did seem to carry a tail. Maybe it was Capella. Further round to the right I saw Venus, far brighter:

I will try again tomorrow morning.

*For now I’m certain the advise from is muddled; you would look northwest after sunset, and northeast before sunrise as illustrated at Comet Watch.


  1. It is indeed an enthralling experience to look out for such events in the night sky. Best of luck for tomorrow morning!

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