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Comet Neowise visible in the morning sky, coming soon to the night sky

Comet Neowise as viewed from North Carolina by astronomer Tony Rice.
Comet Neowise as viewed from North Carolina by astronomer Tony Rice.
Published: Jul. 10, 2020 at 10:49 PM CDT
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MERIDIAN, Miss. (WTOK) - Recently-discovered Comet Neowise is visible in the early morning sky well before dawn. The comet passed Earth earlier this month, and after a close encounter with the sun it is making another pass. The pass near the sun helped to melt some of the core of the comet, so it’s brighter and more visible now. How close to the sun was it? It passed inside the orbit of Mercury.

Seeing it is difficult because it is low on the horizon. Trees get in the way. Also, the light of the comet has to pass through the atmosphere at a low angle, which can further dim the comet.

Astronomer Tony Rice says Comet Neowise will be less than half as bright on July 17th as it is on July 11, and it’s possible it becomes dim enough that it is no longer visible without binoculars or a telescope.

Viewing In The Mornings

On July 11th, the comet is about 5 degrees above the horizon. It will be lower and lower each morning and only about a 0.3 degrees above the horizon by July 15th.

Viewing In The Evenings

The evening viewing is comparatively backward. It will start low - just 0.7 degrees above the horizon - on the evening of July 13th. It will be higher and higher each evening until it’s above 7 degrees above the horizon on the July 17th.

Comet Neowise is visible in the early morning sky and will be visible in the evenings.
Comet Neowise is visible in the early morning sky and will be visible in the evenings.

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