Naked Eye NEOWISE

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George Jones
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It was clear all day yesterday, and the forecast was for mainly clear all night, so, at 11:00 pm, I set up scope for a visual session with Jupiter and Saturn before bed. By the time I was ready to align the scope, the sky was mainly cloudy, and Jupiter was not visible. i came inside to read, while periodically sticking my head outside to check on the situation. Things did not improve, so at 12:15, I decided to take down and put away the scope.

When I finished, I came in through my back deck door, noticed my 10x50s binoculars sitting by the door, and thought "I should take these into backyarrd and see if there is a break in the clouds to the north." There was! I easily spotted Capella, looked left, and immediately saw comet NEOWISE with my naked eyes from a city of 80000. This was first sighting of comet NEOWISE, as I've had clouds, clouds, clouds. Put my binocularrs up, and was floored by the sight!

I went back inside to get collect my 15x70s and my wife, who was still up in her home office. NEOWISE was spectacular in my 15x70s. My wife saw the comet with her eyes, and with the 10x50s, but she had no interest in trying the 15x70s,

If it is clear tonight, I will get my 13-year-old daughter up to have a look.

Awesome!!!
 
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  • #2
Drakkith
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How far north are you? I barely managed to see it last night with a small handheld spotting scope from 39 N.
 
  • #3
George Jones
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How far north are you? I barely managed to see it last night with a small handheld spotting scope from 39 N.
I have another 15 degrees to play with, i.e., I am at 54 N. The comet doesn't set, and I saw it just after midnight last night when it was almost due north.
 
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  • #4
Bandersnatch
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The night sky certainly is spectacular these days. Planets galore, a comet, and a crescent Moon to boot.
 
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  • #5
TeethWhitener
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How far north are you? I barely managed to see it last night with a small handheld spotting scope from 39 N.
Hey, I’m at 39N too! Although, to be fair, I’ve lived at 39N on opposite sides of the country... (still haven’t seen NEOWISE :sorry:)
 
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  • #6
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I'm close to 39N and saw it last night, it was still up at 10:00 PM. will be looking again tonight. I could see it with binoculars but not naked eyes. very nearsighted 😤
 
  • #7
chemisttree
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How high do I have to jump to see it from 30 north?
 
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  • #8
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How high do I have to jump to see it from 30 north?
I think we're better off waiting a few days. I've been trying for a couple and the clouds and horizon have not been cooperating in Florida.
 
  • #9
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Don't worry fellows, this time it's just a comet.
Others were not so lucky:
af8d825bffbd97248cb4f2bd038c1ec4.jpg
 
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  • #10
Andy Resnick
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Last night was too cloudy; we located a viewing spot and are hoping for clear skies tonight until 7/23 or so- for us, the comet should be visible around 10pm. Fingers crossed!
 
  • #11
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Last night I was able to see it unaided. 39.5N, near Reno NV. I took a few photos and discovered I need a tracking mount. All my shots over a few seconds show more star-trailing than I expected (but I have never really done astro photo before). I tried a longer lens but that made the trailing even worse (which makes sense when you think about it). I will be searching threads here for tracking-mount advice. Viewing through 7x50 binoculars was pretty good.

DSC_1811_small.jpg
 
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  • #12
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Same photo, cropped

DSC_1811_zoom.jpg
 
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  • #13
phyzguy
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My friend took this photo last night near Winters, Ca. You can see the ion tail as well as the dust tail.
He used Canon 70D DSLR with a 50mm f1.4 lens and 5-10 second exposures at ISO 800-1000.
NEOWISE.png
 
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  • #14
chemisttree
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Last night I was able to see it unaided. 39.5N, near Reno NV. I took a few photos and discovered I need a tracking mount. All my shots over a few seconds show more star-trailing than I expected (but I have never really done astro photo before). I tried a longer lens but that made the trailing even worse (which makes sense when you think about it). I will be searching threads here for tracking-mount advice. Viewing through 7x50 binoculars was pretty good.

View attachment 266389
What time did you take this photo?
 
  • #15
Andy Resnick
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Could just barely see the comet unaided, much better through binoculars or a telephoto lens:
DSC_3075 copy.jpg


Working on the stack right now....
 
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  • #16
russ_watters
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It's a tougher one than I expected. I could not see it naked eye, but found it with binoculars and through a camera:

Comet Neowise.jpg


The weather isn't predicted to be good the next few days, but if it gets better I do think it needs a tracking mount and longer exposures (as @gmax137 said), unless you have a ridiculously low focal ratio, long lens. This pic is a stack of 10x8sec with a Canon EOS T3i at 75mm and f/4.5, on a fixed tripod, and a 50% crop. The focus wasn't perfect, and at 8sec you can just start seeing the motion.
 
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  • #17
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What time did you take this photo?
Around 21:30 (pacific time) (near Reno ~39.5N 120W).
 
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  • #18
OmCheeto
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I think we're better off waiting a few days. I've been trying for a couple and the clouds and horizon have not been cooperating in Florida.
Don't wait too long. According to this website, it's dimming fast:

From Portland Oregon USA 45.5°N 122.5°W
timedatemag° above horizon
1 am7/8
2.33​
-7​
1 am7/12
4.00​
0​
10 pm7/15
5.00​
14​
1 am7/16
5.00​
3​
1 am7/19
6.00​
5​
1 am7/23
7.00​
6​
 
  • #19
Andy Resnick
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Last night was perfect viewing; here's a preliminary stacked image of NEOWISE taken with at 105mm; both tails are visible. Each image: 3s @ 105/1.4 ISO between 64 and 800.
7_17_20-RGB-session_1-lpc-cbg-mod-S-filtered_copy copy.jpg
 
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  • #20
OmCheeto
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  • #21
DaveC426913
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Heading out tonight to dark skies N of Toronto with a camera, some binocs and a 6" scope. Hopefully the clouds will make themselves scarce.

Bonus: ISS will be passing over NEOWISE at 45 degrees high at 10:06PM.

Wish me luck.
 
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  • #22
cobalt124
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Waiting for clear night skies in N.E. England.
 
  • #23
George Jones
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Were you able to see it unaided? NASA's magnitude numbers are a bit different(brighter) than what I posted a couple of days ago.

I saw it unaided last night. I went out at 11:10 pm. It wasn't dark (at 54N) yet, but I located it with binoculars. Not dark, but dark enough to see the Big Dipper. Before going outside, I used Stellarium to figure out lines though stars in the Big Dipper that would take me to the comet.

After the sky darkened some more I could see it unaided.
 
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  • #24
Andy Resnick
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Stunning! I didn't think anyone would capture a better image than Miloslav Druckmüller, but I think you've done it.

Were you able to see it unaided? NASA's magnitude numbers are a bit different(brighter) than what I posted a couple of days ago.
Thanks- you are too kind :)

We could barely see it unaided on 7/15 and on 7/17 we could not. It was easier to find on 7/17 with optics b/c the comet was 'higher' in the sky so the background was dimmer.
 
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  • #25
DaveC426913
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Well, clouds near the horizon put the kibosh on seeing NEOWISE, but we did get treated to a spectacular 6 minute passage of the ISS at mag -2.7.

Too bad my camera's longest shutter speed is 15 seconds.

Here it is about to enter Ursa Major (click for full size):
IMG_7310.jpg
 

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