The comet Neowise has been visible recently from the northern hemisphere, even from light-polluted urban areas like Seattle, and now can be spotted to the northwest just below the Big Dipper about an hour after sunset.
Skywatchers can expect mostly clear skies over the Puget Sound region after the Friday morning clouds and rain dissipate, but some areas along the coast and near the Cascade Mountains might still see lingering cloud coverage Friday night, according to the National Weather Service in Seattle.
Astronomers discovered the comet in late March, using the Near-Earth Object Wide-Field Infrared Survey Explorer telescope, according to Scientific American. Officially named C/2020 F3, the comet has been informally dubbed Neowise, after the acronym for the instrument that spotted it.
Neowise will come closest to Earth — a mere 64 million miles away — on July 22. After this appearance, Neowise isn’t expected to be near Earth again for about 6,800 years.
This image was made with a 400mm telephoto lens mounted on a tripod using a 1.3-second exposure, at f8, and ISO 10,000.
Seattle Times staff reporters David Gutman and Elise Takahama contributed to this report.