How to find Comet NEOWISE in the evening sky

Weather Blog

Peoria, Ill. (WMBD) – For the early birds in Central Illinois comet C/2020 F3, commonly referred to as NEOWISE, has been visible in the predawn sky low on the northeastern horizon. As we enter the later half of July, NEOWISE will become visible in the evening sky as well.

Through the end of July NEOWISE should be visible on the NW horizon for a brief period of time each night. Since NEOWISE is low on the horizon it could be difficult to spot, particularly on humid nights or when there are distant clouds on the northwest horizon where the added haze will filter out light reflecting from the comet. However, as we get later into the month the comet will appear higher on the horizon making it easier to spot.

Times when Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) will be visible in Central Illinois

DateMorning (Low on NE Horizon)Evening (Low on NW Horizon)
7/162:47 AM – 4:14 AM
(reaches 5.6° above horizon)
9:55 PM – 12:31 am
(appears 11.6° above horizon)
7/172:53 AM – 4:15 AM
(reaches 4.7° above horizon)
9:54 PM – 12:53 AM
(appears 13.8° above horizon)
7/183:07 AM – 4:16 AM
(reaches 3.7° above horizon)
9:53 PM – 1:07 AM
(appears 15.9° above horizon)
7/194:00 AM – 4:18 AM
(reaches 0.9° above horizon)
9:51 PM – 11:59 AM
(appears 19.9° above horizon)

Viewing Tips

You can use the Big Dipper as a point of reference and spot the comet sitting below it close to the horizon. While the comet is visible to the naked eye, you may have a difficult time seeing it’s beautiful tail. It is better to view NEOWISE through a set of binoculars or by using a camera with a good lens. It will also be best to view the comet out in the country and away from city lights where there will be minimal light pollution.

If you manage to catch a glimpse of NEOWISE be sure to share your pictured with us through the CiProud2Go weather App!

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