COMET NEOWISE: Where to look from West Seattle tonight and/or early tomorrow

(Photo by Kasia Bozek)

Looks like another clear night tonight, so that means another chance to see Comet NEOWISE. Following up on her earlier post, West Seattle sky-watching expert and educator Alice Enevoldsen has put together maps (with the help of Stellarium) – here’s one for tonight:

Alice says that map shows what should be visible around 10:15 pm on “the North-northwestern horizon. Comet NEOWISE is a speck almost directly below the Big Dipper, and to the upper left of the bright star Capella.” If you’d rather do your comet-watching early in the morning, here’s 2 am Thursday:

That one is “showing the North-northwestern horizon. (The comet) is a speck to the lower right of the Big Dipper, and nearly due North.” Or click here for the 4 am Thursday image. Weather permitting, the comet might be visible through late July.

17 Replies to "COMET NEOWISE: Where to look from West Seattle tonight and/or early tomorrow"

  • Alice July 15, 2020 (7:52 pm)

    And the comet is up all night, it’s close enough to Polaris (the North Star) that it is what’s called “circumpolar.”Circumpolar objects “circle the pole” and don’t set. We might lose sight of it due to clouds (anytime) or city glow (between 12:30-3am), but it will still be above the horizon.

    • Jamee July 17, 2020 (7:30 am)

      Hi – where and what time can we see it tonight or this weekend?   Thanks!

  • Wanderer July 15, 2020 (10:16 pm)

    @Alice is there any place where I can see modeling of how this is orbiting? I’m so fascinated by it and am wondering why it’s visible at certain times and also multiple times throughout the night.

    • Michael M McCormick July 16, 2020 (5:50 pm)

      Much information about particulars at this site ( including a 3-D simulation of its movement (scroll down) through the solar system . On any given evening, the comet is essentially static against the background stars and so “rotates” around the North Pole/Polaris with the visible stars. As noted, it is visible to the NE around 10:15 PM. As the earth rotates, view of the comet sinks toward the horizon. Theoretically, the comet is visible all night as it does not dip below the horizon reaching a minimum altitude of ~6 deg above the horizon at ~ 2 AM due north. Though hard to see at that elevation (you’re looking through a lot of the atmosphere), it again becomes more easily visible as the earth continues to rotate and the comet “rises” in the northeast to around 10 degrees above the horizon around 4 AM before light from the rising sun starts to wash out the view of it (look for Venus and Mars to the East and SE respectively about this time as well.)

  • Tillmann July 15, 2020 (10:37 pm)

    Is that it?

    • SpacEV July 15, 2020 (11:20 pm)

      Nope that’s Bill and Pat on the USSE. Warp Speed!!! Update: It’s actually Neo. The One. Agent Smith can be seen at 9 o’clock !;)

    • Tillmann July 16, 2020 (10:18 am)

      Thanks for switching out my picture :(

  • Sam July 15, 2020 (10:47 pm)

    Thanks for the pointer on where it would be tonight. Found it easy-peasy up in the San Juan Islands…

  • Delridge Resident July 15, 2020 (11:35 pm)

    Everyone’s pictures are amazing! We shot this pic from High Point around 11pm last night (July 14). For those of you interested in the camera specs: Samsung Galaxy S10 through scope on tripod. :P

  • Robin July 16, 2020 (10:46 am)

    Where will this be visible Friday night?

    • Michael M McCormick July 16, 2020 (5:52 pm)

      Yes assuming no cloud cover.

      • Michael M McCormick July 17, 2020 (11:09 am)

        Oops. All I saw was “WILL it be visible Friday night?” Sorry.It will be visible to the NW ~17 deg above the horizon starting around 10:15-10:30. Comet will be a little below and to the right of Ursa Major’s forelegs noted in reply (with picture) below re: viewing Sunday in Tacoma.

  • susan July 16, 2020 (10:36 pm)

    hoping to see if early Sunday morning from tacoma.  any tips?

    • Michael M McCormick July 17, 2020 (10:37 am)

      Should start to become visible to the naked eye ~10:15-10:30 to the NW about 20 deg above the horizon in Ursa Major (it is moving up and west in the sky each evening). Sky map below (thank you Stellarium!) has the Big Dipper highlighted in Ursa Major. Find NEOWISE just to the left of the Great Bear’s forelegs
      Get away from ambient light to the extent you can. Binoculars are real helpful if you have them. And pray to the deity of your choice for clear skies. Current forecast at ( is iffy for Sunday. Better forecast for Friday or Saturday if you can look then. Good luck! 

  • Allan Kaplan July 17, 2020 (12:00 am)

    For iPhone/iPad users, get the free Comet Neowise app to easily locate it!!

  • Andrew H. July 17, 2020 (8:03 pm)

    Does anyone know if you would be able to see the comet from Lincoln Park?

  • BG July 18, 2020 (11:46 pm)

    Caught it around 11pm Sat night from Tacoma area…. Almost directly under Ursa major’s pour.

Sorry, comment time is over.