For the first time in a long time, we have a bright comet. It is called C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE). It is between the constellations Auriga and Gemini. The sun is in Gemini and the comet’s location makes it visible in the mornings. It rises at 5:20 a.m. (sun at 6:24 a.m.), so we only have it in the sky for about an hour. It is currently magnitude 2.0, the same as Polaris, the North Star.

To find it, begin around 5 a.m., looking along the horizon a little bit north of east. The tail will rise first and then the comet itself. It will not get far above the horizon before the approaching daylight washes out the sky.

We are working on alternatives, but as of now, due to the COVID-19 virus, the Insperity Observatory remains closed. Stay safe and healthy and be sure to check out the night sky.

Aaron Clevenson
Author: Aaron ClevensonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
I am the observatory director at the Insperity Observatory in Humble ISD. I am also an adjunct astronomy professor at Lone Star College-Montgomery where I teach solar system astronomy and stars and galaxies astronomy. I am the author of the astronomy textbook, “Astronomy for Mere Mortals.” I am a past president of the North Houston Astronomy Club, and was the chair of Astronomy Day in Southeast Texas in 2015 and 2016. He is an observing program director with The Astronomical League, coordinates their Master Observer Progression Awards, and has authored six of their observing programs.

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