Updated: Aug 9, 2020
Did anyone see the comet Neowise this week? We took kayaks out on the lake at night twice this week and saw it in the northwest sky. Neowise, thankfully abbreviated from its full name of Near Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer, was discovered back in March. Several weeks ago, the best sitings were in the wee hours of the morning, but this past week, the best siting was about an hour after sunset. And there it was, directly below the star Merak, the bottom right corner of the Big Dipper, a smudge with a faint fan-shaped tail. The best night was supposed to be Thursday, July 23, but it was cloudy that night. Our sitings were on July 22 and 24. After the end of this month, we will have to wait another 6800 years to see this comet! Next up: The Perseid meteor shower, which is predicted to peak on August 10-11, and which should be readily viewable, weather permitting, over Keoka.
Attached is a helpful article from the Maine Audubon Society about Neowise. https://www.maineaudubon.org/news/naturalists-view-of-comet-neowise/