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Comet NEOWISE Visits Wyoming Skies

COMET-NEOWISE.208A3495-16.jpg
NASA
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Wyomingites have a rare opportunity to look to the skies for rocky and icy remnants left over from when our solar system formed—also known as a comet.

Recently discovered Comet NEOWISE is visible from Wyoming for the rest of the week.

University of Wyoming Astronomy Professor Chip Kobulnicky said it has a very large and elliptical orbit, which means it only comes near the sun about every 5,000 years. He said this is a rare chance to observe it in the Northwest sky.

"Look for a clear horizon and a clear night just after sunset when the sky is getting dark," said Kobulnicky. "This comet hasn't been around in any recorded human history, so this is really the first time anyone has been able to see it."

Kobulnicky said you should be able to see the comet with the naked eye, but binoculars will let you see its tail in more detail.

Have a question about this story? Please contact the reporter, Ashley Piccone, at apiccone@uwyo.edu.

Ashley is a PhD student in Astronomy and Physics at UW. She loves to communicate science and does so with WPM, on the Astrobites blog, and through outreach events. She was born in Colorado and got her BS in Engineering Physics at Colorado School of Mines. Ashley loves hiking and backpacking during Wyoming days and the clear starry skies at night!
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