Did I go out over the weekend to see the comet? Of course I did! My brother and I went out Friday night to a dark spot near Palomar Mountain, and we were lucky that the sky was exceptionally clear and still. A little after 9:00 we stopped to get our bearings and to check on whether we could see anything—and we could, though only barely. Here’s a full-frame picture that’s pretty close to what you can see with your naked eye. Neowise is at the bottom center:

I amped up the contrast a little bit to make Neowise more visible in the picture. In real life, I could make it out if I turned by head left and right slowly, but if I just looked straight at it I couldn’t really see anything. My brother brought a pair of binoculars, and those made Neowise clearly visible.

Having done that, I kept driving into darker territory and took a better picture at about a quarter to ten:

July 18, 2020 — On Highway 79 near Warner Springs, California

This is cropped, and with a longer exposure time than the first picture. I also fiddled with the contrast in Photoshop a bit more. In any case, Neowise is very clearly visible, and you can get a sense of its size by comparing it to the telephone poles.

So that’s that. I’ve now seen a comet and I can cross it off my bucket list.

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