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 ⇐   July 5th, 2020   ⇏ 

Copyright 2020 Michael Anttila

There is a new comet in town! I was able to go out early one morning and capture this photo of comet NEOWISE (or "C/2020 F3"). There was only a short window when it was visible for me, because it was obscured by clouds after it rose, but the dawn sky was getting a little too bright just as it came up over the clouds. The magic moment appeared to be just after 4:30am.

It was a great morning to be out looking at the sky. Luch knew that I would be out trying to photograph the comet, so he called me at 4:00am. While on the phone, he wandered around his neighbourhood describing things that he was seeing in the sky. He spotted Jupiter, Saturn, Mars, Venus, and in an incredible feat of timing, he even spotted the International Space Station! Unfortunately, he couldn't see the comet from where he was in Kitchener.

This isn't quite what I saw with the naked eye. In fact, I had to take a long exposure photo first, then find the comet in the photo, and then I knew which part of the sky to look at. Once I had that first photo, I was able to see the comet with my eyes and then frame a better shot.

In theory, the comet will swing around and be closest to Earth on July 22nd, and by then it will be visible in the western evening sky as soon as the sun sets. However, nobody knows whether it will break up by then, so there is no guarantee that it will still be there. If it holds together, it could be a spectacular sight in the evening!

Technical Details: This photo was taken with my Canon 5D Mark II + EF 70-300IS at 80mm, ISO 1600, f/5.6 for 5 seconds.

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