C/2020 F3 Neowise Again

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Paul D
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Joined: Fri Mar 19, 2004 2:13 pm

C/2020 F3 Neowise Again

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Tonight I figured would be my last chance to see Neowise at its best. Based on past evenings I knew that for my backyard the ideal time to observe Neowise was going to be between 22:00 - 22:30. This time would put the comet right above the tree line if I went all the way to the end corner of my yard.

There were a lot of patchy clouds about but not over Ursa Major at the time. I got into position and looked up at the tree line and immediately saw the comet naked eye. I would guess that the comet was mag. 2.5. The nucleus was a bit fuzzy because of the placement about 15 degrees maybe a bit more above the horizon. But what really caught my eye was the tail. It stretched well beyond the nucleus upward towards the dipper. The nucleus was near TYC 03433-0497 1 and the tail stretched up as far as 31 UMa. The fan of the tail was well defined.

I decided to start with my Meade Travel View Binoculars 10x50. The comets nucleus was well pronounced with a bright halo around it. Following the tail up from the nucleus to the tip seemed like an endless journey but with the binoculars much more of the tail became obvious and the fan shape got even wider towards the end of it.

I was not keen on walking back to the house but I had to see this comet even better. I knew I was not going to drag my telescope to the end of the yard so I elected to go with my Celestron Skymaster Binos 25-125x80. When I saw the comet with these binos all I could say was WOW!!! It had been a long time since I have seen a comet like this. The nucleus was very defined and very bright considering its position in the sky. The halo around the comet at this magnification was bright and fuzzy around the nucleus and the tail was absolutely impressive. I did not see its ion tail but the fan of the tail spanned well beyond the view in my binos at its widest point.

This has been clearly one of my top 10 comets of my lifetime. I am glad I was able to see it when it was a morning comet, but even happier to see it as a night time comet. I was also happy to get out and actually observe again even if it was only for a short time. Funny thing was that it was still very hot and humid and I was being eaten alive by mosquitos but it didnt bother me. Just being under the stars again made me feel good. The only company I had this night was an owl calling in the distance.

16" f/5 Night Sky Truss (Midnight Mistress)
10" f/5 Home built Dob with Parks mirror.
Pre-Meade PST
Celestron Skymaster Binos 25-125x80
Meade Travelview Binos 10x50

See that 16" in the sleek black dress? She is all mine. :)
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