Home Blog Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE)

Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE)

  • July,22, 2020

Comet Neowise was discovered back in March and has been visible throughout July. After weeks of cloudy nights I finally got a chance to see it.

Comets are at their brightest when they are closer to the Sun. Today Neowise was getting nearer to Earth but because it was travelling further away from the Sun it was becoming fainter in the sky. This was the first clear night sky for weeks so I was hoping to cath a glimpse of it from the garden.

A combination of fading comet, light pollution and my poor eye sight meant that I couldn't see it with the naked eye. I knew roughly where it was so as soon as it was dark enough I pointed the camera in that direction. Using the electronic viewfinder I was able to locate the comet and digitally zoom close in. I could clearly make out the comet trail and was able to adjust the focus ready for a shot. At 100mm focal length I was able to get a good view of the comet and when enhanced and cropped I was happy with the end result.

Comet Neowise Garden

Comet Neowise Garden

The following evening I ventured back to my usual dark sky spot at Anglers Country Park. By now the comet was even fainter. I still couldn't see it with the naked eye. This time I went for a wide shot over the water and this really gives an idea of scale.

Comet Neowise Anglers

Comet Neowise Anglers

It was almost a new moon so Anglers was extrenely dark and the sky was full of stars. Looking directly up I could just about make out a very faint Milky Way outline so I took the opportunity to capture it. Shooting at ISO3200 for 10 seconds I was able to get some good detail. I took 20 shots on the star tracker and stacked in PhotoShop afterwards to really maximise the detail and reduce noise.

Milky Way

Milky Way

This was my first attempt at capturing a comet. Whilst I was happy with the shots I got, I think with a bit more practice I could bring out more detail, particularly in the tail. Comet Neowise will fade even more as it passes and eventually leaves our solar system but when it returns I'll now be ready to get some better shots. The only problem - it wont be back for another 6800 years!

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  • June 26, 2020

I returned to Anglers Country Park on another clear night. The crescent moon set just after midnight. Would I be able to escape the city light enough to capture the Milky Way?


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