Scientist first named it C/2020 F3. But we need to do better than that, don't we?

NEOWISE is the name because it was discovered on 27 March 2020 by the NEOWISE space telescope. It is now visible in northern skies this month.

Over this past weekend, NEOWISE has been bright enough to see with the naked eye  in the northern hemisphere. But it has not been big. You'll need a moment to pick it out. If you have binoculars, even better.

It reached perihelion – its closest point to the sun – on 3 July 2020. Now it's making its way back. The comet's closest approach to Earth is around 3 weeks later. You can see it now but on 23 July 2020, it will be passing Earth and moving away.

The distance will still be 400 times further away than the Moon. But in space terms, that's kinda close.

As it rounded the sun, scientists were hopeful that comet NEOWISE would reach naked-eye brightness but they weren’t sure.

Comet NEOWISE is now visible both before sunrise and after sunset.

That low view will remain. The comet will never climb very high in the sky and will never be brighter than a star. But you will still be able to see a tail, which, as you know, is something stars do not have.

Over the next few days NEOWISE’s tail will get longer and even a little brighter. That will help it stand out a bit more.

Look up and to the left of the rising or setting sun. You'll see it there. Here is a handy guide including how to photograph it for those who want to try.

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