Not even close to gun related but still pretty neat.
Halley’s Comet has some company. There’s a new comet zipping across our solar system, and experts say you can see it from Earth without needing binoculars or telescopes.
In fact, the newly discovered comet — known as NEOWISE, because it was initially detected by a NASA satellite by that name four months ago — was seen streaking across the sky over New Jersey early Wednesday morning.
Chris Bakley, an astronomy expert from Cape May, snapped some photos of Comet NEOWISE and was captivated by the sight. (One of his photos appears above.)
“This morning was one of the first clear mornings since the first sighting of Comet NEOWISE,” Bakley wrote in an email Wednesday. “It’s safe to say it stunned us all! A morning treat I will surely never forget!”
Some good news for skywatchers: The comet will be visible the rest of this week — weather permitting — in the predawn hours, starting about 4 a.m.
If you’re not an early bird, don’t fret. Bakley said the comet is expected to return on July 14, and “if it continues to survive, then it will become visible in the evening sky after sunset.”
The best place to look is in the northeastern sky, Bakley said. “It will look like a faint star with a tail. It’s small but visible with the naked eye. Binoculars can provide a stunning view of it.”
CNN says the comet was discovered in March by NASA “as it made its initial approach to the sun. It survived its loop around the sun and will be reaching the point in its orbit where it is closest to Earth in the next week.”
People in New Jersey and anywhere else in the northern hemisphere will have an opportunity to catch a glimpse of Comet NEOWISE through most of July, CNN says. The best times to look are early dawn and at dusk.
Space.com says the comet’s closest approach to Earth will be on July 22.