Comet NEOWISE Fort Wayne viewing guide

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – If you’re outside at the right time with a clear view of the sky, and looking in the right direction, you have the opportunity to catch Comet NEOWISE in the upcoming days. This previous story gives all the vital background details on the comet. Here in this article, we deliver your guide to viewing the comet across northeast Indiana and northwest Ohio from expert skywatcher Tony Rice.

He’s calculated our best viewing times across the region. Take a look:

date morning (low on NE horizon) evening (low on NW horizon)
7/10 3:49 AM – 4:56 AM
reaches 7.3° above horizon
10:36 PM – 10:37 PM
appears 0.1° above horizon
7/11 3:42 AM – 4:49 AM
reaches 6.8° above horizon
10:43 PM – 11:00 PM
appears 1.4° above horizon
7/12 3:35 AM – 4:43 AM
reaches 6.2° above horizon
10:50 PM – 11:26 PM
appears 2.7° above horizon
7/13 3:29 AM – 4:36 AM
reaches 5.5° above horizon
10:57 PM – 11:55 PM
appears 4.1° above horizon
7/14 3:25 AM – 4:29 AM
reaches 4.7° above horizon
11:05 PM – 12:25 AM
appears 5.3° above horizon
7/15 3:21 AM – 4:21 AM
reaches 3.8° above horizon
11:12 PM – 12:56 AM
appears 6.6° above horizon
7/16 3:21 AM – 4:14 AM
reaches 2.8° above horizon
11:20 PM – 1:25 AM
appears 7.7° above horizon
7/17 3:25 AM – 4:06 AM
reaches 1.8° above horizon
11:27 PM – 1:47 AM
appears 8.8° above horizon

According to Rice, the comet will be most visible before dawn over the few couple days, by early next week visibility will improve after dusk.

When asked if the comet will dim in the sky, Rice says, “Probably. The inverse square law (remember your physics classes?) says Comet NEOWISE will be less than half as bright this time next week. It could dim more slowly, or it could break at any time, ending the show. Remember ‘comets are like cats, they have tails and do what they want’. Also, remember we’re looking through 25+ air masses at the horizon. Isn’t skyience (sky-science) cool?”

Comet NEOWISE photo from Tony Rice near Falls Lake, NC with sky reference points overlaid

Note: Some enhancements to the photos have been made. The photographer notes, “The comet is visible to the unaided eye but is not as bright as these photos (or any other you may see online), of course.  It’s more pronounced (looking less like a blurry smear) than other bright comets I have seen, especially recently.  Still, it’s dim, so finding that sweet spot between it rising shortly after 4 am when the sky is really dark, and 5 am when it’s above the treeline, but begins getting lost in the twilight, is key to seeing it.”

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