Comet Neowise arrives to brighten up the Croydon night sky

The comet, a bright spot of light, seen looking north to London on Friday

The ancients used to regard the sighting of a comet as a sign from the gods. The arrival this weekend of Comet Neowise may be more prosaic, but it nonetheless brightens up the night sky. GRAHAM CLUER, a member of the Croydon Astronomical Society, took the pictures and explains

Comets are visitors to our solar system which come in from outside, fly around the sun, then leave us again. Some (like Halley’s comet) return many years later, others pay us just a single visit.

They are made mainly of ice and loose rock, which is why they are sometimes referred to as “dirty snowballs”.

It has been many years since we have had a good view of a comet from England. Now, and for the next week or so, there is a chance to see Comet C/2020 F3 Neowise.

You will need binoculars to find it but when you know where it is, you just might see it with the naked eye. It may get easier to see in the next few days. There’s plenty of online apps and articles to help you know where to look.

Comet Neowise, as seen over Croydon on Friday night

This weekend the comet is in the northern sky and rather low down, so you need a good clear view of the northern horizon to spot it. In Croydon, we are lucky to have Shirley Hills, which gives an excellent viewing point in the direction we want.

You may see it after the sun has set or, better still, in the hours before it rises.

The photographs with this article were taken at about 11.30 on Friday night.

For more information about the Croydon Astronomical Society, visit their website here.


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About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email inside.croydon@btinternet.com
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2 Responses to Comet Neowise arrives to brighten up the Croydon night sky

  1. mnemosene says:

    I saw something extremely bright to the North East at 4 am two nights ago and wondered what it was.

  2. Colin Cooper says:

    Maybe we will all get ‘lucky’ and it will impact Fisher’s Folly (or wherever is necessary) whilst the full Council is in session! Problem solved, pro temp.

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