NASA has detailed how the public can see comet NEOWISE themselves over the next week, assuming they live somewhere in the Northern Hemisphere. Unlike many interesting night sky phenomena, the NEOWISE comet will be available to see over several days, meaning if it’s too cloudy tonight, you can try again tomorrow and yet again all the way through July 23.
The comet NEOWISE was discovered back in March by the Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE), hence the name of the space rock. Though the comet will be visible in the sky for several days, don’t miss your chance to see it — NASA says humanity won’t get another chance to see NEOWISE in the night sky for another 6,800 years.
You’ll need to be outside just before sunset on a clear day, according to NASA, for a chance to see the comet with your own eyes. Ideally, you’ll need to get away from the city so that light pollution doesn’t obscure view of the comet. Just after sunset, look toward the northwestern sky for the Big Dipper.
NASA says NEOWISE will be visible just under the constellation, but that you’ll need a telescope or binoculars to get the best look at it. It may be difficult to see the comet initially, but NASA explains that it will move higher into the sky each night, making it easier to spot over the weekend and through next week.
If you’re not using some sort of tool to see it, such as binoculars, the space agency says NEOWISE will resemble a fuzzy star, but one that has a tail coming off of it. NASA has published a video and illustration to help the public figure out where to look for their own chance at seeing this incredibly rare comet. Additional resources on NEOWISE can be found on NASA’s website here.