ISS and Comet Neowise

ISS and Comet Neowise title=
International Space Station Passing Over (Photo: Ronald Williams)
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By Ronald Williams

As predicted by Chuck Macpuzl in his "Summer Space Station" Edhat article of July 11, the International Space Station passed over the Santa Barbara Channel this evening, July 13, beginning at about 9:17 PM. Golly was it bright with the Milky Way providing a heavenly backdrop!  

Plus, now that the early morning skies are becoming clearer, it is possible to see the Comet Neowise. It is becoming the best comet performance for Northern Hemisphere observers since the 1997 appearance of Comet Hale-Bopp. And from all projections the best is yet to come. Over the next few days the comet will become lower and less visible in the northeast early in the morning (this photo was made near San Marcos pass before 5:00 AM), but it will be higher and more visible in the evening (around 9:00 PM) to the northwest. It’s expected to get gradually dimmer over the next few weeks as it moves farther from the sun, so the next week or so might be the best time to view it.

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macpuzl Jul 14, 2020 09:26 PM
ISS and Comet Neowise

Not as nice a view as Ronald got, but tonight at 9:20 PM the comet was visible low in the NW in the image looking west from the fire webcam at the Vic Trace water tank on the Mesa, available at

Bird Jul 15, 2020 07:50 AM
ISS and Comet Neowise

I've been longing to see it ever since reading/seeing photographer Michael Frye's description and picture at Mono Lake, but I figured it was overcast here and also too many city lights. But I am encouraged that it could be seen from the Mesa! Here's a link to Frye's beautiful photo:

TripleA Jul 15, 2020 09:43 PM
ISS and Comet Neowise

We can see this tonight (9:42) over Brush Peak! Use your binoculars. It has a nice bushy tail.

macpuzl Jul 15, 2020 10:37 PM
ISS and Comet Neowise

Yes, nicely visible once you find it, but don't expect a blazing beacon. We were just out at the dam for Lake Los Carneros, and found it in the twilight directly NE with binoculars at about 9:05 PM, about 13 degrees up. By 9:20 it was visible with averted vision, and from about 9:30 until it set behind the mountains at 10:05 it was naked eye. Not like Hale-Bopp, but still pretty decent.

macpuzl Jul 16, 2020 08:20 PM
ISS and Comet Neowise

Yikes! My "NE" should be "NW" in that 10:37 comment!

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