Comet Neowise, otherwise know as C/2020 F3, is a retrograde comet with a near-parabolic orbit. It was discovered on March 27, 2020, by astronomers during the Neowise mission of the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer space telescope.
Neowise has an orbital period of 6,766 years, with an observation arc of 70 days.
According to the National Weather Service in State College, tonight, July 20th, is a great night to view Comet Neowise due to the limited cloud cover over the region.
To find Neowise, look to the northwest and find the Big Dipper just after sunset. From there, you should be able to locate the comet below. Be sure to find a spot away from city lights or hills and mountains. See the chart below.
The best way to see Comet Neowise is through a pair of binoculars, DSLR camera or small telescope.
Our photo above was taken recently at the Blue Marsh Lake State Hill Road Overlook. This has been a popular site to see Neowise as the overlook area offers an unrestricted view of the northwestern sky.
If you have a camera and want to capture a photo of the comet, be sure to use a long exposure and use a tripod. If you want to learn to do this, we recommend Googling your camera model, along with “long exposure photography” for a few quick tips.
If you get a photo, be sure to share it using the hashtag #PAwx