The Van Wert County Courthouse

Saturday, May. 25, 2024

Best chance at Comet Neowise 7/23

Since I first reported on the comet NEOWISE on July 8, its estimated speed of nearly 144,000 miles per hour will appear nearly stationary to us. That speed, however, has changed its viewing location to the Northwest, just below and to the left of the Big Dipper. On July 23, it will be at its closest location to Earth. By 9:32 that evening in Van Wert, the sky should be dark enough to see both the comet and the Big Dipper.

You’ll want to find an area with a structure, water, or trees to add more interest to the photo. Consider also that a trace of sunset also may improve the photo.  Try to locate an area north of town where there are few farm lights to lighten the sky and hope for a clear sky when you’re ready to shoot. 

A cropped photo by Bill Dunford of Comet NEOWISE

Take your camera, a variety of lenses, tripod, extra batteries, flashlight, lawn chair, bug spray, and a pair of binoculars. Arrive at your location early so that you can get everything set up and take some pre photos to see how your settings will respond. Try taking photos with all your lenses.  Standard and wide angle lenses may actually produce sharper images than your telephoto.  Lens quality and construction may produce different results, so check your shots and make your adjustments. 

Use manual settings. Possibly a distant farm light can be used to get a sharp focus. Your ISO will probably be 800 and higher and your shutter speed 4 seconds and slower. If you don’t have a remote shutter release, use the time release setting on your camera to reduce the chance of motion blur. If it should be windy, hang your camera bag on your tripod for more stability. 

Best wishes for a clear sky, a good location, and no equipment failure because one of the articles I researched said it would be ”roughly 7,000 years” before it comes back.

POSTED: 07/23/20 at 6:57 am. FILED UNDER: Camera Club News