Scene in Edmonds: Early-morning comet

Sherman Page took these photos of Comet C/2020 F3 over Edmonds at 4 a.m. Saturday morning. “It is faint to the eye,” he says. “It looks good in binoculars.” In a couple of days, he says, the comet will be visible one to two hours after sunset in the Northwest, making it easier to view without having to get up early.

According to Scientific American, the comet was first spotted by scientists using the Near-Earth Object Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) space telescope as it hurtled toward the sun on March 27.


8 Replies to “Scene in Edmonds: Early-morning comet”

  1. Oh my goodness. I’ve never seen a comet, and you were there. What a wonderful experience that must have been. And thanks for sharing it with us in Edmonds. It’s different when you see our town with the comet, not just a pic from somewhere else.


  2. says Monday morning should be mostly clear to partly cloudy in Edmonds, for those who want to wake up before sunrise to try to see the comet. Look for the bright star Capella about 20 degrees above the NE horizon (don’t get confused by even brighter Venus to Capella’s right above the eastern horizon), then look diagonally down and to the left of Capella to search for the comet near the horizon.

    The comet will soon be visible in the evening, maybe as early as tonight, July 12th, but more realistically a couple of days later. It will be climbing higher in the NW sky each evening, below the Big Dipper. The following is from Sky and Telescope Magazine:

    From the 14th onward, the comet’s motion will have shifted its best viewing opportunity to the evening sky. Start looking about 1 hour after sunset, when you’ll find it just over the northwestern horizon as the last of twilight fades into darkness. Look about three fists below the bottom of the Big Dipper, which is hanging down by its handle high above, and from there perhaps a little to right.

    Every evening thereafter the comet will be getting dimmer, but it will also be getting higher up as twilight ends. On the evening of the 23rd, when Comet NEOWISE is its closest to Earth, locate it by first noting the two stars at the bottom of the Big Dipper’s bowl. Then draw an imaginary line through them and toward lower left to a point in the sky a little more than one fist away. But by that date you’ll almost certainly need binoculars or a telescope.


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