If your social media newsfeed is anything like mine, you no doubt have seen plenty of pictures of Neowise the comet in the night sky over Iowa. If you've been thinking about joining your fellow amateur astronomers you're running out of time. Neowise is about to go away for a long, long, time.

Neowise is actually a new comet, discovered just this spring. But as the Gazette points out, it won't pass by Earth again for nearly 7,000 years, so now is the time to pray for clear skies and a great view. University of Iowa Allen Observatories manager Caroline Roberts says that the comet will be at its brightest today, Wednesday. The comet's light will then begin to dim as it moves away from the sun until finally Neowise is gone for thousands of years. Roberts told the Gazette that comets this bright pass by Earth only every 5 years or so. Brighter comets appear only every 15 to 20 years.

If you want the best chance to view Neowise, your best bet is at around 10 p.m. Let your eyes adjust to the darkness before you start your search. The comet is still bright enough to be visible to the naked eye. The comet sits around 20 degrees from the horizon, or around 2 fist lengths. Getting away from city lights along the northwest horizon is also a good suggestion. If you use binoculars or a telescope you may actually be able to see water coming off the comet! Check out Neowise before it's gone forever!


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