A comet is set to be visible in the skies above South Holland for the next few weeks.
Comet Neowise (or C/2020 F3 Neowise to give it its scientific name) is a ball of ice on a 6,000 year orbit around the sun.
After it’s closest approach to the sun on July 3, it’s brightened considerably and is now visible to the naked eye when not cloudy.
The comet itself is due north and remains quite close to the horizon throughout the night.
It’s in a part of the sky still illuminated by the sun until quite late.
But last night (Friday) at around 11.30pm the Comet Neowise itself and part of its tail (the cloud of dust and gas billowing out behind it) were visible without the need of binoculars or a telescope.
You’ll be able to see more of the tail with binoculars.
Astronomers say before dawn is another good time to see the object.
The brightness of comets is notoriously difficult to predict and after going round the sun, the comet is currently at its most active, but it is set to get closer to Earth and is predicted to appear even brighter in the sky in the next few weeks.
Comet Neowise (which is named after the telescope that discovered it last March) has its closest approach to this planet will be on July 22 and it will be higher in the sky then and the northerly skies will be darker earlier.
For now, find a clear view of the northern horizon and you should see the icy rock and debris tail.
Have a look for the bright star Capella which stands out in the sky while looking north towards the horizon. The comet is west and slightly south of the star with the tail pointing upwards as we look at it.
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