See Comet NEOWISE online tonight in a Slooh webcast

See Comet NEOWISE online tonight in a Slooh webcast

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  • Comet NEOWISE has captivated stargazers in recent weeks and if you haven’t seen it yet, you’re in luck. The astronomy learning website Slooh will host a free live webcast tonight (July 18). 

    The comet, officially known as C/2020 F3 NEOWISE, is currently visible in the northwestern sky just after sunset for skywatchers in the Northern Hemisphere. Clear, dark skies away from city lights and an unobstructed view of the northwestern horizon are needed.

    Tonight, Slooh will host a live webcast at 5 p.m. EDT (2100 GMT) and you can watch it live here, courtesy of Slooh. You can also watch it directly from Slooh here, as well as via the company’s YouTube page here. The webcast is a chance for skywatchers in the Southern Hemisphere (where Comet NEOWISE is not visible) to see the comet, and an opportunity for other stargazers affected by city lights or cloudy skies.

    Related: How to see Comet NEOWISE in the evening sky now
    More: 
    Best telescopes for the money — 2020 reviews and guide

    See Comet NEOWISE?

    (Image credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Naval Research Lab/Parker Solar Probe/Brendan Gallagher)

    If you spot Comet NEOWISE, let us know! Send images and comments to spacephotos@space.com to share your views.

    “It’s a truly magical experience to witness such a large comet gracing our skies!” Slooh’s chief astronomical officer Paul Cox said in a statement. “We’ll be telling viewers how they can see it from their backyards, and Slooh members will continue to watch it in Slooh’s live telescope views every night this week.”

    Comet NEOWISE was discovered in March by NASA’s NEOWISE space telescope and made its closest approach to the sun in July 3.In early July, the comet was only visible in the predawn sky, but on July 15 it transitioned to an evening sky object visible to the naked eye. 

    The comet can be seen below the Big Dipper star pattern in the northwestern sky. 

    “If you’re looking at the sky without the help of observation tools, Comet NEOWISE will likely look like a fuzzy star with a bit of a tail, so using binoculars or a small telescope is recommended to get the best views of this object,” NASA said in an advisory. 

    Related: Amazing photos of Comet NEOWISE from the Earth and space

    This NASA sky map shows the location of Comet NEOWISE in the evening sky for viewers in the Northern Hemisphere in July 2020.

    This NASA sky map shows the location of Comet NEOWISE in the evening sky for viewers in the Northern Hemisphere in July 2020. (Image credit: NASA)

    Comet NEOWISE offers a rare treat for skywatchers as it’s been 23 years since a comet has appeared so bright in the night sky, NASA scientists have said. 

    That comet was Comet Hale-Bopp, which became a brilliant night sky object in 1997 and could be seen by the naked eye for 18 months.

    Related: The 9 most brilliant comets ever seen

    If you snap an amazing photo or video of Comet NEOWISE in the night sky? Let us know! To share images and videos for a possible story or gallery, send images and comments in to spacephotos@space.com

    Processed data from the WISPR instrument on NASA’s Parker Solar Probe shows greater detail in the twin tails of comet NEOWISE, as seen on July 5, 2020. The lower, broader tail is the comet’s dust tail, while the thinner, upper tail is the comet’s ion tail.

    Comet NEOWISE is seen by NASA’s Parker Solar Probe, which captured the comet’s twin tail on July 5, 2020. The lower, broader tail is the comet’s dust tail, while the thinner, upper tail is the comet’s ion tail. (Image credit: NASA/Johns Hopkins APL/Naval Research Lab/Parker Solar Probe/Guillermo Stenborg)

    Email Tariq Malik at tmalik@space.com or follow him @tariqjmalik. Follow us @Spacedotcom, Facebook and Instagram.

    Join our Space Forums to keep talking space on the latest missions, night sky and more! And if you have a news tip, correction or comment, let us know at: community@space.com.

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