Space Review Publication by Hariharan Karthikeyan

What you should learn from Comet NEOWISE

by Hariharan Karthikeyan

Monday, July 27, 2020

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Checkout this publication by Hariharan. He attended his first SacL5 monthly meeting last week.

And check out the full article here


This was nothing short of a hasty search for the highest point in the city. As the sky dimmed, we drove in separate cars for miles and miles unsuccessfully, finally settling for a rugged trail that branched off of Beatty Drive in El Dorado Hills, California.


I mounted the tripod and fastened the camera, gearing it toward the northwestern sky. And after several minutes of scouring that area beneath the Big Dipper (while maintaining our distance), we spotted something with our eyes. A wisp of light encased in darkness.

And at that moment, 73 minutes after sunset, I gently pressed the shutter, praying dearly that this wasn’t just another airplane.


Avid stargazers haven’t enjoyed a spectacle like this since Hale-Bopp a quarter-century ago. Since its discovery back in March, Comet NEOWISE has garnered considerable attention among astronomers. And now we know a lot more about it.


Comets are notoriously unpredictable. Nevertheless, we can expect to see NEOWISE again once it returns on its near-parabolic orbit—about 6,800 years from now. And now, the comet is eluding our reach as it returns to the outer solar system. For those hoping to catch a glimpse, the clock is ticking.


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