COMET-WATCHING: Views of NEOWISE from West Seattle

It’s the first clear night since Comet NEOWISE came into view in the evening sky (as explained by Alice Enevoldsen) and many were out looking for it tonight. The photo above is from John Hinkey, who says it was visible to the west starting around 10:30 pm. The one below is by Jan Pendergrass, taken from Luna/Anchor Park:

And from Jamie Kinney, comet-watching from Alki:

(Added 2:31 am) Two from Jason Enevoldsen:

(added 10:22 am) From Larry Gilpin:

NEOWISE was discovered just four months ago. It should be visible again Tuesday night, with a clear sky forecast, but don’t procrastinate if you’re interested in seeing it … its next swing out this way isn’t expected for another 6,000+ years.

25 Replies to "COMET-WATCHING: Views of NEOWISE from West Seattle"

  • Mikah July 14, 2020 (4:28 am)

    Just saw it. The comet is currently circumpolar at this latitude, meaning it’s above the horizon all the time. We just have to wait until the sun goes down to see it. What has the sun ever done for us, anyway?

    • astroboy July 14, 2020 (9:49 pm)

      So do you mean it is visible through the night? Its directions does not seem parallel to the horizon from the images. But then this is space and all bodies are in relative motion. What place and time to catch it best in Greater Seattle area?

      • Alice Enevoldsen July 15, 2020 (11:36 am)

        Yes, visible all night, unless we lose it in the haze and city glow.The “movement” of the comet is not related to the direction of the tail. First, the tail always points away from the Sun, no matter how the comet moves. Also, the movement we see through the night isn’t due to the motion of the comet itself, it is due to the Earth rotating: just like the movement of the Sun or Moon through our sky over a day isn’t the Sun or Moon moving, but the Earth turning.-Alice

  • Citizen Sane July 14, 2020 (7:14 am)

    I saw it for the first time last night from Alki Beach park at Cactus. Really nice time with great people, except for the small group of meatheads who thought it would be a great idea to shoot off fireworks at the picnic shelter. C’mon guys, the Fourth is old news; like the movie says, ‘let it go’.

  • Andros July 14, 2020 (9:52 am)

    It was awesome last night.  We are going to move west of Cactus tonight to setup the telescope and gear.  

    • Sunflower July 14, 2020 (12:27 pm)

      This picture shows it’s approximate position over upcoming days, and I’m wondering how accurate this was for last night. Is this where you saw it, below Ursa Major?

      • K to the F July 14, 2020 (3:52 pm)

        I’d say that’s pretty accurate, yep! Best part is that it was already pretty high in the sky last night so will only be getting better. Plus, it doesn’t just plunge straight for the horizon but, instead, since it’s following the path of the Sun, will arc down low to the north then back up in the early morning hours.

      • LAH July 15, 2020 (7:57 am)

        Sunflower, Thank you for the diagram it was really helpful to find the comet last night!

        • Sunflower July 15, 2020 (5:42 pm)

          👍 nice, you’re welcome, and thank you!

      • Alice Enevoldsen July 15, 2020 (11:37 am)


  • K to the F July 14, 2020 (10:39 am)

    I’ll be out there again tonight as well, just a bit west of Cactus on the seawall (darker spot — in the shade from all the nearby street lights). C’mon down starting about 9:30pm!

    • V July 14, 2020 (4:46 pm)

      Is that a better location than by the boat ramp? I’m going for the first time to take a look and wanted to see if i could fit in the skyline with the comet in my photos.

    • AR July 15, 2020 (12:58 pm)

      Hi there! Will you be out there tonight? We are planning to view it this evening with our binoculars and would love to come to alki beach so that we can get some guidance if need be :) 

  • Lisa July 14, 2020 (1:38 pm)

    “…its next swing out this way isn’t expected for another 6,000+ years.”

    Hopefully we’ll have a bridge by then…

    • Artimus July 14, 2020 (9:07 pm)

      Good one!

  • sgs July 14, 2020 (3:43 pm)

    We saw it last night at the 10:30 time in the northwest sky.  There was a time that it was in the northeast sky – is that over?  We were thinking of going east.

    • K to the F July 14, 2020 (3:54 pm)

      Nope, it’ll stay in the NW sky this week and next until it likely fades out as it grows more distant from the Sun (and us). Viewing was pretty good from Alki as there’s not much light pollution coming from the NW of there. Not perfectly dark skies but you can beat the [short] drive.

  • sgs July 14, 2020 (4:03 pm)

    Saw it last night with the group at Alki.  Is the opportunity to see if before dawn over?  Would it be in the same night sky?  it was in the northeast earlier.  Is the opportunity in the east over?

  • Drew July 14, 2020 (10:39 pm)

    Just saw it!  Clearly visible in the NW sky about 15 degrees above the horizon.  So cool – just amazing!

  • Kathy July 14, 2020 (11:31 pm)

    What was that bright light in the sky? Was it a drone with a light on it? It was messing up my comet viewing. Good thing my daughter went with me to see it tonight. She spotted it but I couldn’t with my naked eye. It made me realize how bad my night vision is. Fortunately we brought binoculars along.

  • July 14 star gazing July 15, 2020 (10:12 am)

    I won’t be around when it comes back in 6,000 years so I am glad I saw it last night.  Thanks WS Blog and others for letting me know where to look.  What a beautiful night in West Seattle for star gazing!

  • mike July 15, 2020 (10:38 pm)

    SO COOL.  First time I’ve seen a comet!   Thanks for the diagrams.  I needed binoculars to see it but then it was amazing.  Once I found it with the binoculars I was just able to make it out with the naked eye from Gatewood at 10:15-10:20 and convinced myself I could see a tail. I was really worried I’d miss it and have to wait 7000 years.

  • Ben Jamin July 15, 2020 (11:50 pm)

    My coworker had his camera out here in Hillsboro oregon at about 11pm July 15 and he cuaght was looked to be an explosion of ice in the forward upward direction about 1/2 the distance out of the diameter.  Then in the next 3 or so 5 second exposures you see this brightness move to the tail and disappper..He thinks it could have been funny light bouncing in the camera—waiting for others..

  • Kathy July 17, 2020 (10:45 pm)

    It cleared off tonight, so the comet is visible down on Alki.

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