“For human beings, living now, now is the time. We are not going to see him again. “
Few occasions are so rare that they occur once every six millennia or so, but seeing the comet NEOWISE is one of those gems.
As comets pass through Earth all the time, it can be seen with the naked eye.
This is according to Brian McNamara, professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Waterloo, and director of this department.
“They’re notoriously difficult to predict how brilliant they will be, but every once in a while we get one that is just beautiful, and I guess it’s a good one,” he said in an interview. .
“To see it, it now revolves around the sun and you can see it in the evening. So you have to wait until the sky darkens from three quarters of an hour to an hour after sunset. Look west, towards the sun, then north. If you can see the Big Dipper, which is obvious, it will be suspended in the sky with the Dipper below. Look down from the Dipper. ”
McNamara also recommends avoiding your eyes a bit rather than looking straight at them, as your eyes will be more sensitive to seeing it.
He also recommends binoculars on a telescope.
It is the brightest comet since Hale-Bop, which flew by Earth about 23 years ago according to McNamara. He added that NEOWISE will experience a peak in visibility over the next week.
“In ancient times, it evoked terror. Often it was thought to be a premonition of difficult times. It is not such a thing, it is just one of the spectacular aspects of astronomy that we can see. These are just debris that remain from the formation of the sun, the formation of the Earth and other planets. From a scientific point of view, they are fascinating objects because they represent this elementary material from which we all emerged. So scientifically we appreciate it, but it’s a wonderful sight to see for everyone. ”
McNamara noted that you have until the beginning of August to see NEOWISE, unless you plan to stay another 6,800 years.
“Just go out an hour after sunset, if it doesn’t work tonight, try tomorrow.” Try the next night. In the next two weeks, you may be lucky. Take out your binoculars. “