How to see Comet NEOWISE from the UK tonight as it reaches peak brightness

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Stargazers are in for a treat this week as a newly discovered comet will be seen from across the UK.

The comet, called NEOWISE, will reach peak brightness tonight, and you don’t want to miss it.

Best of all, the comet will be visible all evening, so there’s a strong chance you’ll be able to see it.

NASA explained: “Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) was discovered in late March and brightened as it reached its closest approach to the Sun, inside the orbit of Mercury, late last week.

“The interplanetary iceberg survived solar heating, so far, and is now becoming closer to the Earth as it starts its long trek back to the outer Solar System.”

While the comet has already reached its closest approach to the sun, it’s actually getting closer to Earth.

The comet will reach its closest point to Earth on July 23, at which point it will be at a distance of 103 million kilometres, according to Paul Sutherland, author of Skymania.

He explained: “The comet’s track is currently carrying it between the constellations of Auriga and Gemini, so in early July you will have to look to the north-east, a little way beneath the bright star Capella, to find it.

“During the rest of July, Comet NEOWISE will head through Lynx and into Ursa Major, passing beneath the familiar asterism of seven bright stars known as the Big Dipper, or the Plough. This will keep it low in the sky before dawn, but it will increasingly be visible earlier in the night, in a darker sky.

“By the third week of July, the comet will be on view all night long and stargazers will be able to view it before going to bed, rather than having to get out of their warm beds before dawn!”

While the comet is likely to be visible with the naked eye, binoculars could come in handy if you have them.

Mr Sutherland added: “Binoculars will be very helpful in finding it, even if the comet is just visible in the brightening twilight.”

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