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A bright spot in the 2020 sky, see Comet Neowise above Capitol Hill

(Image: Drew Collins with permission to CHS)

It’s a sign that 2020, despite some dark days, still has a few bright spots. This image of the Comet Neowise above the dome of the Volunteer Park Water Tower can hopefully inspire you to head out — and look up.

The comet had made a fleeting visit to our early morning hours — Drew Collins snapped this photo around 3:30 in the morning over the weekend —  but now Neowise is set to appear on Seattle’s horizon just after dusk for another week and a few days before it disappears for an expected 6,800 or so years.

Discovered only this march by researchers using the NEOWISE space telescope, the retrograde comet with a near-parabolic orbit is the brightest visible here since Comet Hale–Bopp in 1997.

To see it now through the night of July 22nd, you’ll want to use binoculars or a telescope to look to the northwest sky just after sunset as the comet will gradually appear higher along its arc in the night sky. On a clear night without too much moonlight, many have reported being able to see the blurry smudge of the comet with the naked eye. Finding a good view to the northwest will help so consider some of the western slopes of North Capitol Hill above Lake Union.

Take a look and enjoy the moment knowing that, even as terrible as the year has been, 2020 is only 0.0147% of Neowise’s journey around the sun.

UPDATE 7/14/2020 8:12 AM: Get a good Capitol Hill shot of the comet? Let us know.

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