Where to Find Comet NEOWISE in Santa Barbara’s Night Sky

Reader Merritt Adams Points to Horizon Beneath Big Dipper

Comet NEOWISE as seen near Skofield Park. | Credit: Spencer Adams-Rand

The Comet NEOWISE remains visible in the northwest sector of the sky for the next week, reader Merritt Adams tells the Independent. Named for NASA’s Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer — an astronomical telescope in orbit around the Earth, which blasted off from Vandenberg Air Force Base in 2009 — the comet will be visible after dark until about 10:30 p.m.


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“Look a little to the right of where the sunset hits the horizon,” Adams advised, “directly underneath the Big Dipper. As long as the skies are dark and clear, the comet is visible to the naked eye. With any pair of binoculars, it should be clearly visible.” According to NASA, it could be 6,800 years before the comet returns.

The photo comes courtesy of Adams’s son, Spencer Adams-Rand, who shot it near Skofield Park. “He used a 70-200 mm lens set at 125 mm. The exposure was for 6 seconds at f 3.2 at ISO 4000. The comet and the mountain appear large in the photo because we significantly cropped the photo,” Merritt said.


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