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  • Writer's pictureNicola McCabe

When it's dark look for stars

pretty tabby kitten next to an ornamental star inscribed with a sayin When it rains look for a rainbow. When it's dark look for the stars

'When it's dark look for stars', or in our case look for comets. Since seeing the report about Comet Neowise we have been desperately scouring the skies to try and catch a glimpse of it.

So far it has been pretty elusive, or maybe we haven't quite got our timing right. As it's probably the latter, I have spent the morning checking out the optimum dates and times for us to witness this incredible phenomenon.

If we miss out this year then it's a pretty long wait until Comet C/2020 F3 (Neowise) does a come-back tour - in about 7000 years.

Sharing is Caring

Now that I'm loaded with all this new information, I am eager to share it with you because I would hate for you to miss out. And when the timing is right we won't need any expensive telescopes or binoculars, because it should be visible to the naked eye.

Comet Neowise is expected to be visible throughout July in the northern hemisphere, but only on cloud-free, clear nights. It's also better if you are in a location where there is very low light pollution, for example with no streets lights or cars. We should definitely be able to meet that criteria here in the beautiful, unspoiled Limousin region.

Now here is the bit that I'm not sure we can manage - for the best results, you will want to get up early and before sunrise.


NASA Definition - "Comets are cosmic snowballs of gas and dust, that make sweeping orbits around our sun".


Incredible Images

There have been some amazing photos shared on the different social media platforms by amateur and professional astronomers, and photographers. My favourite has to be the one of the comet over Mont-Saint-Michel posted on Twitter. How long must he have waited to get such a perfect shot?

Now for some good news, according to the Royal Astronomical Society:

"The comet will become increasingly visible in the evening hours later into the month. Look for the comet in the north to northwestern skies between now and July 31. You will need to make sure you have a clear view of the horizon. Comet NEOWISE should be easy to spot through a pair of binoculars, and possibly even the naked eye".

Stargazing Date Night

So between now and the 31st July I'm going to plan a special star-gazing date night with my special man. I need dark clear skies, and if there's a moon then it can't be too bright, because its light will make the comet and stars difficult to see.

Some soft, romantic music, a bottle of wine chilling on the side, and the warm bubbles of the hot tub gently massaging our skin... our very own stargazing, hot tub heaven.

And I really must try and find some binoculars. I can't wait around 7000 years for this wondrous cosmic creation to make another appearance!

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