Vancouverites looking up to the night skies recently may have spotted a rare astronomical treat and the spectacle is expected to continue for a little longer.
Comet NEOWISE had been visible to the naked eye over the past several days, making a once-in-a-lifetime appearance before disappearing for thousands of years.
Stargazers around the world have shared their sightings of the comet online and astronomer Rachel Wang from Vancouver’s H.R. MacMillan Space Centre says locals might still be able to catch a glimpse before the comet fades.
“You want to go sooner rather than later because it is dimming in brightness,” Wang said on CTV Morning Live Thursday, adding that the best time to see the comet is about an hour after sunset.
The “sweet spot,” she said, is about 10:15 p.m.
“You want to look in the north-northwestern direction,” she said. “If you can bring binoculars I would highly recommend doing so.”
Getting away from light pollution is also key, Wang said.
Wang said it’s believed the comet came from the Oort Cloud, which is a huge cloud surrounding the solar system.
“It’s very rare that we have a comet pass so close to Earth, so close that we’re able to see it and also that it maintains its brightness,” she said.
Wang said there was another comet that was expected to pass close to Earth last December, but it disintegrated before it could be seen.
Anyone eager to see Comet NEOWISE shouldn’t wait too long.
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“You really want to go as soon as possible because it’s dimming in brightness every single day,” Wang said.
Watch the full interview with Rachel Wang by clicking the video above.
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