Home > Comet, Ephemeris Program, Observing > 07/20/2020 – Ephemeris – Comet NEOWISE tonight and the spacecraft that discovered it

07/20/2020 – Ephemeris – Comet NEOWISE tonight and the spacecraft that discovered it

July 20, 2020

This is Ephemeris for Monday, July 20th. Today the Sun will be up for 15 hours and 4 minutes, setting at 9:21, and it will rise tomorrow at 6:17. The Moon is new today, and won’t be visible.

With the Moon being new today, that means that by the end of the week it will interfere some with spotting Comet NEOWISE. Tonight the comet will be below the lowest star in the bowl of the Big Dipper. Its head should be as bright as the dimmest star of that dipper (the one that joins the handle to the bowl). Where did the comet’s name come from? Back in 2009 NASA launched the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) spacecraft to survey the infrared sky. It was a telescope built inside a cylinder of solid hydrogen to keep it near absolute zero. In 10 months the hydrogen sublimated away and the project ended. They found that even a warmed up WISE could still find asteroids, so began the Near Earth Object or NEOWISE program.

The event times given are for the Traverse City/Interlochen area of Michigan. They may be different for your location.

Addendum

Comet NEOWISE Finder

Comet NEOWISE Finder for 11 pm tonight July 20, 2020. Created using Stellarium.

 

%d bloggers like this: