Neowise shines: How a 4.6 billion-year-old comet has made stargazers galore in Rochester


ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WROC) — There are still opportunities to see comet Neowise, if you haven’t already.

The rare space mass is still hanging around in our atmosphere, and visible if your looking north into the night sky. You’d have to wait another 87 lifetimes before seeing this comet again.

MORE | Comet Neowise can be seen in Rochester: Here’s where and when to look up

“The great thing about this comet is that it’s actually visible by eye, which we have not seen in quite some time,” said Joe Altieri, Rochester Academy of Science.

Joe Altieri, a Rochester Academy of Science expert, took a picture of the comet Neowise from Webster, where you can clearly see the comet’s two tails.

Altieri says what’s we’re actually looking at is the history of our solar system.

“So the material that your seeing is very pristine, hasn’t been touched or anything so all these materials components and everything like that gives us a good idea of where the solar system came from,” said Joe Altieri.

MORE | Neowise gallery: The 6,800 year comet spotted in and around Rochester

Neowise is as old as the beginning of our galaxy and could be seen over the weekend around sun rise and sun set.

Scott Steiger stayed up all night just to get a glimpse.

“Definitely want to see that because sometimes these things are just once in a lifetime,” said Scott Steiger, Associate Professor of Meteorology, SUNY Oswego. “The excitement of seeing something so rare, and to be able to get a photograph of it, that was equally as exciting.”

Some comets burn up when entering the Sun’s atmosphere but Neowise made the trip around the sun and viewers are still trying to catch the last end of it’s trip.

“A few days from now it will actually be it’s closet to earth, closet meaning about 65 million miles away so in space terms that’s close I guess but after that it’s just a matter of time before it really starts to dim fade,” said Altieri.

Before that happens you can still come out to see Neowise, until July 23.

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