Alas, this wonder of the universe evaded this author several times with cloud cover, smog or haze. The mosquitoes weren't any fun either. Nevertheless, being outdoors to view a sunset from a beach and the open evening sky was a pleasure. Better still, is the hour before sunrise. The quiet air is spectacular. This is when I find the world at peace the most, because there is the knowledge of the coming sunrise. These were the two times to view NEOWISE, just over one hour after sunset in the North west sky and in the North east sky just before sunrise. Both times of day had the comet about 20 degrees above the horizon. That is about two fists high with our arm stretched out toward the horizon.
Most info about viewing NEOWISE from the media was incorrect... there is a shocker. No need for a telescope or binoculars was the claim by most, because NEOWISE will be visible to the naked eye. There are always variables to everything and viewing the comet without any aid only occurred on perfectly clear moonless night skies and far from humankind's artificial light sources. I guess most media reports didn't have time to present all the facts and details. The photo I am sharing with this GTG Blog post was taken by my good friend Ross, but the comet wasn't visible to him. Only after taking a photo with a 10 second exposure did the comet appear in the image.
BTW: The NEOWISE program uses a space telescope to hunt for asteroids and comets, including those that could pose a threat to Earth. During its primary mission, NEOWISE detected more than 158,000 minor planets, 34,000 of which had never been discovered previously.
Making the best of experiences like seeing a comet is priceless, especially with family and friends. However with NEOWISE, if anyone is thinking about marking their calendar to see this comet the next time around, then we better figure out all the science behind aging and Telomeres. NEOWISE will not be back for 6,768 years.
Bill Lauto, at GoingTrueGreen.com
International Sustainability and Energy Consultant
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