Comet NEOWISE

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Jeremy Perez

Supporter
James and Randy, that peripheral vision experience you mentioned—averted vision—is something that really works well for observing faint, extended objects like the comet. Apologies if this is 'splainy...it's just incredibly useful at night. Amateur astronomers use that technique a lot to detect and resolve details visually. Just look off to the side and around the object rather than directly at it, so it gets situated on the surrounding retina in your eye instead of the central fovea which is way less sensitive to faint light. It's not as satisfying as being able to look straight at a thing, but it's fascinating and very useful in its own way to see an object blossom in size and brightness just by looking a bit to the side.

Also, Randy, what a great experience with your son!
 
Sep 7, 2013
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Strasburg, CO
I had the exact same experience on the outskirts of the DFW metroplex.
Peripheral vision is significantly stronger than direct vision when it comes to low light.

 
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Jul 5, 2009
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Newtown, Pennsylvania
James and Randy, that peripheral vision experience you mentioned—averted vision—is something that really works well for observing faint, extended objects like the comet. Apologies if this is 'splainy...it's just incredibly useful at night. Amateur astronomers use that technique a lot to detect and resolve details visually. Just look off to the side and around the object rather than directly at it, so it gets situated on the surrounding retina in your eye instead of the central fovea which is way less sensitive to faint light. It's not as satisfying as being able to look straight at a thing, but it's fascinating and very useful in its own way to see an object blossom in size and brightness just by looking a bit to the side.
Interesting, thank you for that explanation. I found it useful not as a way to “see” it but just as a way to locate it, and then be able to detect it in the binoculars.
 
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Jul 5, 2009
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Peripheral vision is significantly stronger than direct vision when it comes to low light.

Thanks for that resource, looking forward to reading the rest of it later
 
Nov 11, 2017
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Overland Park KS
The moon will be getting brighter each evening from here on out as the comet climbs higher in the sky, so if you want to see it do it very soon. The comet will also be slowly fading so by the end of the month, you might need a telescope to see it.
 
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Jul 5, 2009
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Every graphic I saw showed the comet at its highest point above the horizon on July 23, and did not show a position after that. Is it still visible for at least a couple of additional days beyond that, for example maybe through the weekend?
 
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Jeff House

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Jun 1, 2008
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Chattanooga, TN
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Comet will be visible through the weekend. I figure early next week but yeah the Moon will become a problem. Still I'm hoping at least binoculars rural until the end of July. Moon will start to get away from the comet again but the moon will be growing and the comet will be fading by the end of the month.

Looking at another star does help for unaided eye viewing, especially after spotting with binoculars. We saw it naked eye from a rural area. Still better through binoculars. The latter can work in town as some have noted.

Comet NEOWISE reminds me a lot of Halley, barely unaided eye, but Neowise might be a little better. Does that sound about right? It's no Hale-Bopp which I knew going in. At one point I had hopes for a dimmer version of Hyakutake, but not the case. Still a naked eye comet makes up for no 2020 Plains trip. It has been a fun month!

Here are pictures from Monday and Thursday rural areas. Also used binoculars in back yard a few times. These are not spectacular, but meant to preserve a memory. Remember what we actually saw hybrid binoculars and eye.

Earth_fly-by.jpg Low.jpg
 

James K

EF3
Mar 26, 2019
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Colorado
Its getting high enough that depending on how dim it is now maybe I'll be able to see it.
I might go out tonight & look...if the clouds clear in time.
 
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Jeff House

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Jun 1, 2008
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Chattanooga, TN
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Comet indeed remained visible over the weekend (barely naked eye rural) and remains so early this week (binoculars mainly). My child and I said good-bye Monday; but, we may check again next clear night. Watching with her three times in 10 days is a blessing.

Yes @Matthew Fischer I dig the tree combo pix. Nice work! Below are my attempts at fun with a tree and the Big Dipper, now that the comet is high enough. They are not Matt's quality, but we enjoyed framing these pictures Sunday 7/26. Probably my last pix but will check with binoculars again.

Comet NEOWISE hangs with our tour guide, the Big Dipper.
Big_Dipper.JPG
Zoomed in version, tree acts as usher pointing the way.
Tree2.JPG
 

JeremyS

EF3
Mar 12, 2014
262
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Omaha, NE
I ended up going out and seeing it 5x over the month of July. I figured if this is such a "rare" event (highly visible comet without telescope etc) than I am going to take advantage of it. Took a ton of pictures that I am still processing through.
The funny thing is I saw it 5x up here in the Plains, and then last week I was out in Tucson, Arizona visiting a friend and never was able to see it due to the monsoon making it cloudy every day/evening where I was at. Figures I couldn't see it in the desert!
 
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JeremyS

EF3
Mar 12, 2014
262
339
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Omaha, NE
Processed a couple more images. These are my first stacked images I’ve ever done. Feel like they could be better, mainly the comet not being as “crisp” as I had hoped, but still pretty happy with the pictures.
9B971D11-8D72-4621-A0FD-CD1D2AE041EA.jpeg
20 images stacked. 3s, F4, ISO 25600
B8E287FF-2959-448D-936A-14324663FBE8.jpeg
7 images stacked. 6s, F2.8, ISO 25600
 

Jeremy Perez

Supporter
Those are great records to have! And especially interesting seeing it paired with the Milky Way.

The bifurcation and brightness of the ion and dust tails on this comet has been awesome to watch evolve. Now that the moon is starting to give back some breathing room, it's entered a new imaging phase, appearing a lot more like a bright deep sky object — which is much fainter than what we grew accustomed to last month. Last night during a 20 minute window between end of astronomical twilight and effects of moonrise I set up at a dark sky location at Wupatki National Monument and snagged some tracked shots. It shared the view with two globular clusters, M53 above right of the coma and NGC 5053 lurking in the dust tail.

From that dark site, it is a good binocular target with about 1.5 degree of widely fanned tail visible. A slight aqua/turquoise color is also visible to the eye in the coma, especially having benefit of seeing it right next to the neutral appearance of M53.

Canon 6D Mark II with Canon EF 70-300mm lens at 300mm
12 exposures x 60 sec., f/7.1, ISO 12,800
SkyView Pro Equatorial mount
Image is cropped to eliminate worst distortion in corners

imgimg20200806_IMG_5520_FULL_Mean_Min_Hor_Noise_ABE2_800px.jpg