NEOWISE Basics— What Exactly Is A Comet Anyway?

Bake a chicken casserole, and you’ll probably have leftovers. Comets are like that. They’re what’s left from the dawn of the solar system 4.6 billion years ago. Ejected by gravitational interactions with the giant planets most were kicked into the outer solar system and now inhabit the Oort Cloud, an enormous, roughly spherical shell 0.03…
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Space Station Marathon And Comet NEOWISE Just Won’t Quit

Pile it on! Comet NEOWISE, Jupiter and Saturn and now the International Space Station (ISS). You may have already noticed the station cutting across the night sky over the past few nights while you were you out comet-watching. It’s that extremely bright “light” moving from west to east, taking about 5-6 minutes to cross the…
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Jupiter Gets Big And Bright

Comet NEOWISE has dominated sky news, but I don’t like to miss a Jupiter opposition. About every 13 months Jupiter and the Earth line up on the same side of the sun and come closest together. Because the planet appears directly opposite the sun — rising in the east when the sun sets in the…
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Comet NEOWISE Still Gorgeous As It Enters The Evening Sky

Good news! You needn’t get up at dawn to see Comet NEOWISE. Starting this week it will appear low in the northwestern sky at dusk. I’ve been observing during evening twilight the past two nights beginning just after 10 o’clock until about 11:30 p.m. From many mid-northern latitude locations the comet will appear about 5°…
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How To Share Comet NEOWISE With Your Kids

Something as wonderful and rare as a bright comet should be shared with as many people as possible. I understand it’s not easy getting up at 3 a.m. and driving to a place with a view, but I’ve yet to hear from anyone who felt put out after they made the effort to see comet…
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