Catch the Unfading Comet [PHIL-OSOPHY]
Just the thought of looking up to the darkened sky and seeing a beautiful comet streak by has always appealed to me, but add that it won't be seen again for another 6,800 years makes it even more amazing.
Spread the word to get a glimpse of the spectacular comet NEOWISE in July, during the early morning or evening sky. The comet will be visible in the still darkened skies before twilight, about an hour and 20 minutes before sunrise, and about an hour and a half after sunset, very low, about 20 degrees, on the north-northwest horizon, just below the Big Dipper.
Along its remarkable journey, the tail has continued to grow and become more pronounced. We should be able to see it for about a month.
If you want some tips to spot the comet, allow your eyes about 20 minutes to adjust to the dark sky, and get away from the lights of the city. Get the widest view of the northeast sky without any trees blocking your view. Binoculars might help you spot the comet, and of course, weather conditions need to be clear. If you capture any images of the comet, we'd love to see them and we'll share them for everyone to enjoy.
There's something else that really intrigues me here. This almost eternal comet is covered in particles leftover from its formation, near the birth of our solar system, about 4.6 billion years ago. Scientists found NEOWISE – which stands for Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer – back in March, looking for asteroids that could pose a danger to the planet.
I wonder if anyone saw NEOWISE 6,800 years ago, a long time before Jesus? And next time it appears, I wonder what people will be like 6,800 years from now?
Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.