See a Once-in-a-lifetime Comet While You Still Can This Weekend
One of my favorite things to do is to look up at a clear night sky when the stars and planets are on show (have you seen Jupiter lately? It's hard to miss right now!).
A couple of times a year, meteor showers pass through the atmosphere, which I love to try to see, but if the weather doesn't cooperate, there's always next time.
Over the next few days, though, there's a celestial show that if you miss it this time around, you'll have to wait another 6,000 years or so.
Astronomers have only been aware of the comet that they've dubbed NEOWISE (well, nicknamed, at least. Officially, it's C/2020 F3) for a couple of weeks.
It could have gotten swallowed up by the sun last weekend, but it survived its close encounter, and scientists are expecting it to burn bright in the July sky over the next few days.
You can already spot NEOWISE in the sky above the Jersey Shore if you're a dedicated junior astronomer, but you'll have to stay up late (or get up early) and grab binoculars.
By Sunday though (July 12th), the comet is expected to be visible at a more reasonable time and shouldn't require binoculars.
According to Scientific American, "...starting around July 12, Comet NEOWISE will be visible in the evening as well".
They say that it should be pretty easy to spot, too, appearing, "about an hour after sunset", which is just before 8:30 this time of year, and near the Big Dipper constellation, which just about everybody knows.
This one looks to be a truly once in a lifetime chance, too, with experts saying that NEOWISE won't come back around to our neck of the solar system for another 6,000 years.