Newly Discovered Comet Visible in Maine Through July
If there is something cool to see up in the sky here in the state of Maine, leave it to me to tell you about it. I have always been fascinated with everything that exists above the earth's surface. From airplanes to space shuttles to comets in the night sky, if it's up there I want to know more. I remember as a kid getting a super-nice Polaris telescope for Christmas and my dad and I would go outside at night and check out everything from distant planets to the craters on the moon.
According to WMTW News 8, a newly discovered comet will be visible in the Northern Hemisphere at least until the end of July. The comet, which was originally called C/2020 F3 when it was initially discovered, has now been dubbed NEOWISE. The name comes from the way in which it was discovered- NASA's NEOWISE satellite. The 'NEO' in NEOWISE stands for 'near earth objects' and was specially designed to do exactly this.. identify objects (like comets) that are near earth.
Now the fun stuff. When can you see this? Well, this comet is a tough little cookie. It just survived a trip around the sun without burning up. Must have had SPF 50 on! Now that it is near Earth's orbit, it is still being lit up from the brightness of the sun. Scientists say that right now the best time to see the comet is very early morning just as the first glimpse of light begins to break the horizon. For us here in Maine, that means sometime early in the 4 o'clock hour.
You'll want to look down towards the horizon as that's where the comet tends to be early in the morning here in the Northern hemisphere. If you can't see it in the morning time you can go out at night and look for it, though they say seeing it at night, at least for the time being, will be slightly more challenging. Experts say that within the next few weeks it will change and become less-easy to see in the morning and easier to see at night. This will be due to the shifting orbit of the comet.
Like all cool things this will eventually come to an end. Experts believe that sometime around August this comet will change course and head back into the depths of outer space. Where will it go? When will we see it again? WILL we see it again? Nobody really knows for sure.. but we certainly wish this mighty little comet all the best as it head out to infinity and beyond.