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2020- 07-13

Seeing comet NEOWISE (and taking bad pics)

July 13, 2020

I tried to see NEOWISE late on Friday night but in hindsight I was too early and there was too much cloud.

It was visible early on Monday morning. I first tried looking from the Greenway but although it was fairly dark and the height gave a fairly clear view north the London Stadium blocked the view to the north east.

After some cycling around I found this spot, which gave a clear dark view to the north west and west but still had a few lights to the north east.

It was enough to block the lights with my arm and then look north east by north and the comet was easily visible to the naked eye.

Here's a pic from my camera - you can just see the comet as a downward facing smudge above the telescope (You'll need to click on the picture and zoom in), the naked eye view was a little better then with the coma being more obvious:

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I took my Galileoscope with me and could see the comet clearly though it, I could just about take a pic through the eyepiece with my phone - lining up the phone camera and eyepiece is annoyingly fiddly.

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Apart from the comet it was an excellent night for doing astronomy with Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn all nicely visible and the Galileoscope doing exactly what it was supposed to do, I could clearly see the bright pinpricks of the Jovian moons lined up either side of Jupiter, Saturn was distinctly blobby looking with it's rings, Venus showed a crescent and on the Moon you could see the crisp outline of craters and mountains along the terminator.

There might be better viewing spots in the Olympic park - There where some very dark spots with the trees screening out some of the light from around the park and there are a few hilly bits, annoyingly the highest one has dense planting on it and it looks like you are discouraged from going on top of it.

I'd also go earlier in the morning, by 3:40 or so it was too light to see the comet, getting on site at 1am would of been better.

tags: london comet galileoscope neowise

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