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Look up! Comet Neowise visible in South Carolina

The comet will not be visible again for another 6,800 years.

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The NASA NEOWISE mission discovered a comet on March 27th of this year, which is now making an appearance over our skies here on Earth.

The comet, called Neowise after the mission that discovered it, is traveling outside of Earth’s orbit and will be visible for a few more weeks.

When you look along the horizon, you will see a glowing, fuzzy dot in the sky as the comet travels through the solar system.

To get the best views of the comet, try and get to a location with minimal light pollution and without many obstructions on the horizon.

You should be able to see the comet by looking to the northwest along the horizon. The viewing period to see it is between an hour or two before sunrise, and again in the late evening during twilight.

Credit: WLTX

Over the next few days, visibility of the comet will worsen in the mornings as the comet nears the horizon. But just wait, viewing the comet in the evenings will become a bit easier, as the comet climbs higher in the sky off of the horizon.

The good news with this astronomical event is that a telescope or binoculars are not necessary, although you will get a better view if you have one.

Credit: Hap Griffin

The comet will be closest to the Earth on July 22nd at a distance of 64 million miles.

According to NASA scientist Joseph Masiero, one of the principal investigators on the Neowise mission, the comet is about 3 miles wide. It is also covered with dark particles that are left over from its formation near the birth of our solar system 4.6 billion years ago. 

This event is a once-in-a-lifetime event. In fact, scientists at NASA say that it takes the comet about 6,800 years to complete it's path around the sun.

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