Home Landscape Time is Running Out to See the NEOWISE Comet

Time is Running Out to See the NEOWISE Comet

by dav.d

I do photograph the skies very often. Perhaps more patience is required. Currently the NEOWISE comet is appearing early in the morning and about an hour after sunset. People have said the comet is visible with the naked eye, but it really helps to have binoculars, a telescope, or a really long lens.

This is my contribution to the NEOWISE comet. This was photographed in the evening in Utah County. I spent a few hours taking photos. However, it wasn’t easy. The biggest help was a mobile app called Stellarium+ which is available for iOS and I believe Android. It does cost a few dollars. It is the only mobile app that was updated to find the comet.

Neowise Comet

Neowise Comet

My longest lens is 200mm which isn’t very useful for astronomy or astrology. It’s great for portraits or weddings. So I can’t get very close to the comet. So I have light from houses in Utah County. And the shapes of the mountains and hills help create an interesting look to the entire image. I have seen Photoshop composites that really build up expectations for the comet and that is more of a disservice if you try to look for the comet.

Neowise Comet over Utah County

Neowise Comet over Utah County

Using the Stellarium+ app I knew where I should be looking. I was using a telephoto and a wide angle lens to try and find the comet. It wasn’t until a hour after sunset that I had my first sighting! I was excited. I then followed the comet for the next 2 hours as it slowly approached the horizon. If I didn’t have the app, it would have been much more difficult to find.

I remember when Halley’s Comet paid a visit in the mid-80s. I was living in the Philippines as a kid at the time. And I remember looking straight up into the night sky and seeing the comet. It certainly awakens the magic and mystery of the universe. And like anything, it could be yet a more expensive hobby if you want to get serious about it.

You’ll see the comet in the upper right quadrant of the photograph. I did a little happy dance when I saw the faint wisp of the comet’s tail.

My first spotting of the Neowise Comet

My first spotting of the Neowise Comet

And this was my view for the first hour of hunting for the comet. I had so many of these photographs. The color of the sunset was beautiful. And it was a reminder to clean my sensor for the camera.

Scanning sunset for the comet

Scanning sunset for the comet

The comet will be visible for a few more days. And then it won’t return for another 6600 years. And if you’re around in 8600 A.D. I’m sure you will be on your 1 millionth facelift.

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