This is not just from one session, but rather, a multitude of times yours truly observed this comet.
Sure enough, third time was the charm!
The lead observer at work didn’t start mentioning this comet on social media until July 3. It’s safe to say it was a surprise event for us! It was discovered in late March, during a time when most observers and astrophotographers were busy looking at C/2019 Y4 (ATLAS) as it disintegrated, and C/2020 F8 (SWAN) which was also hyped but never came close to naked eye levels. Two comets got our hopes up and then fizzled out. Once my boss confirmed that he could see it from his home closer to LA, I figured, “if he can spot it, so can I!”
Each time I observed it was in Gavilan Hills – 15 minutes from my current residence up the hills south of Lake Matthews. It has the advantage of being slightly darker on the Bortle Scale, being high enough above the haze, and offering very little obstruction from the high mountains.
AS much as I loved observing it and getting images, it meant more to me that I was able to tally up to 20 or so individuals to wake up and come see the comet! It meant more to me and for astronomy outreach (the purpose of this blog and social media pages) that I was able to get people to see the comet through my scope!
20 patrons got up and braved the comet as well. Not bad for something you needed to get up super early in the morning to see.
While the comet is going to be an evening (and thus much more convenient) target as of July 13, it won’t be as bright or spectacular due to it dimming as it moves away from the Sun. I do not expect it to brighten up when it passes closest to Earth on July 23.
EDIT : In hindsight, I should have added “from a city…” To make the comet look better, all I had to do was go to a dark location to see it, which I did on July 18! Soon after that night,NEOWISE did start fading rapidly as it stopped outgassing and exited the inner Solar System.
Wide Field Shots
Misc Event Shots – Patrons
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