How to add Comet C/2020 F3 Neowise to Stellarium

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The comet Neowise, officially known as Comet C/2020 F3 (Neowise), is one of the number one topics around the world. It’s the first comet that is visible in the night sky with the naked eye. Binoculars are helpful, but if you watch closely and know where to look, you can see the comet with your eyes.

Scientists just discovered the comet on March 27th, 2020, and got its name by the NASA mission who discovered it – NEOWISE. NEOWISE stands for Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer.

This tutorial here will help you to find the right spot to look for Neowise. It’s very easy, all you need is the free open-source planetarium app Stellarium. Stellarium is available on all major operating systems (Linux, Windows, and macOS). There are also a web-based version and apps for your mobile devices.

It’s a very powerful tool. Unfortunately, the comet needs to be manually added to the database of Stellarium so you can plan your watch session. It’s super simple to add and only takes about 2 minutes. Watch my video below.

Unfortunately, I am out of luck so far to see the comet with my own eyes. I am up in the Pacific Northwest and it’s been super cloudy during the times the comet would be visible or I just don’t have a chance to watch it because of my work schedule. However, there is a better chance to see it, during the second half of July, as it will shift from a morning star to an evening object. Right now the best time to watch it is just before sunrise. Around July 15, the comet will be easier to watch in the evening and will be higher on the horizon as well.

My gear is all ready to capture Neowise. I am only waiting on the weather to get better and for the clouds to give me a small break in the sky to be able to capture the comet. Wish my luck guys.


U.S. Lighthouse Society’s Passport Program
How to Set up Your Camera to Photograph Comet Neowise

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