Spectacular Neowise comet visible in the Netherlands throughout July
Stargazers take note: a special heavenly spectacle is currently gracing the skies above the Netherlands! Comet Neowise is putting on a stunning show and - unusually for a comet - can be seen without the aid of a telescope throughout the month of July.
Comet Neowise sparkles above the Netherlands throughout July
You may already have seen some spectacular pictures of the comet Neowise - which was discovered by the NEOWISE space telescope in March and is currently blazing a shimmering trail through the night sky - but the good news is that the comet is only expected to get more visible as the month progresses.
This is a particularly special event as Neowise (previously known as comet C / 2020 F3) only comes this close to Earth every 5.000 to 7.000 years. According to Joseph Masiero, Neowise deputy principal investigator at Nasa’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, Neowise is about 5 kilometres across and was formed around 4,6 billion years ago, around the same time as the birth of the solar system.
Catch Neowise's peak on July 23
The comet is millions of kilometres away from Earth but has been visible since July 10 - even without binoculars or other equipment - thanks to its long trail of dust and ice. Your chances of spotting it are likely to improve as the month progresses - reaching a peak between July 15 and 25, when the comet is closest to Earth.
Neowise is illuminated by the rising sun, meaning that the comet can only be seen at night. Currently the best views are to be had in the early hours of the morning but, as the month progresses, the chance of seeing it in the early evening improves - so long as the weather plays ball and the sky is nice and clear. Find an elevated spot, away from light sources, and look to the lower left of the bright star Capella.
If you’re unsure whether the late night is worth it, consider that Comet Neowise will only come this close to Earth again in another 6.800 years, give or take.
This article originally appeared on IamExpat in Germany.