Over the next couple days, Boise residents will be able to see Comet NEOWISE soar through the Treasure Valley. Visible twice a day on July 15th, 16th and 17th, the comet will be best seen when the sky is at its darkest.
Adding to the current list of 3,650 known comets, Comet NEOWISE was discovered by NASA back in March. Comet NEOWISE was named after the technology used to snap an image of the comet, called the Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (WISE) and renamed NEOWISE by NASA on April 1st. According to NASA the comet is about 3 miles across and is visible while it heads back toward the outer solar system. July is said to be the best time to see the comet by the ‘naked eye’.
The comet will be recognizable as it appears much redder than the background stars because it has a much cooler temperature. Comets are cosmic snowballs of frozen gases, rock and dust roughly the size of a small town. If you’re hoping to catch a glimpse of Comet NEOWISE it’s recommended using binoculars or a small telescope to get the best view. Some other tips for viewing Comet NEOWISE from NASA include:
- Find a spot away from city lights with an unobstructed view of the sky
- When the sky gets darker, look below the Big Dipper in the northwest sky
It is said the comet will be best visible in Boise in the late night hours or early morning hours. Here’s a link to view specific times to get a glimpse of Comet NEOWISE in Boise:
Visibily of Comet in Boise