Tonight is the first opportunity to see the comet in the evening. Before now, it was only visible to early risers. Comets are very hard to predict, but this one has so far overachieved and provided some stunning views for those willing to get up before sunrise.
Now, the treat awaits those of us who prefer to stir in the evening. Just look to the northwest sky about 80 minutes after sunset. You may need to use your binoculars or telescope to see it at first, but after you know where it is, you should be able to see it with the naked eye. We shall see about that, right? ha
You can still see it in the early morning hours, too. Just look to the northeast sky about 80 minutes before sunrise. It should be about 10 degrees off the horizon. Tomorrow morning will be the last opportunity to see it very well in the morning. If you were to be up, look for the International Space Station to fly over at about 5:06 in the morning from the northwest sky to the southeast sky.
The comet will continue to get brighter and higher in the evening sky until July 22. Beginning tonight, it will be about 5 degrees above the horizon. You need to find a good, open spot that is free of any man-made light and without any serious obstructions on the horizon.
I’ll be out there with my telescope. I was out last night and spotted four of Jupiter’s moons! They look like little specks around the planet. Jupiter is the really bright star you see in the southeast after dark. A lighter “star” can be seen trailing it to the east. That is Saturn.
So, get out there and star gaze this evening. The sun sets around 8:00, so the comet will become visible at around 9:30. I’ll be out looking and I’ll tell you all if I see something!
If clouds do move in and hinder our view don’t despair. The best days for viewing are yet to come!
Happy star gazing!