CRANFORD, NJ — Comet Neowise is the brightest comet that Earthlings have been able to see in nearly a quarter of a century, and all you need is a little patience.
The best times to see the celestial being will be Saturday and Sunday nights in New Jersey, which are projected to be clear, according to the National Weather Service. It'll also make appearances before then.
You'll be able to see it in the northwestern sky for about an hour after sunset, below the Big Dipper, according to NASA. It's been visible in the east-northeast sky with the naked eye about an hour before sunrise for the past month.
The comet is the brightest to visit Earth since Comet Hale-Bopp made an appearance in 1997. NASA says it could become known as the "Great Comet of 2020."
Liberty Science Center in Jersey City noted, "This summer, a lot of our favorite activities are being put on hold – but we can still head outside to see some incredible space objects in the sky. For the week of July 13 – 18, be sure to look for the first comet of 2020 that is visible to the unaided eye: Comet NEOWISE. It’s visible in both the morning and the evening!"
Sky & Telescope says Comet Neowise will appear just as the last of twilight fades into darkness. The Big Dipper hangs by its handle at this time, so look about three fists below the "bowl."
Comet Neowise will fade after July 19 as it comes closer to the planet. Its closest approach to Earth occurs on July 22, after which it will fade more rapidly and eventually disappear from the solar system.
Relatively new in the continuum of time, Comet Neowise hasn't made an appearance in our solar system for 6,800 years.
Story originally by Carly Baldwin. Got local news? Email email@example.com. Don't miss Cranford and statewide news alerts when they are announced. Sign up for free Patch breaking news alerts and/or daily newsletters.