By Ronald Williams
Here is a triptych of Comet Neowise at three different telephoto lengths. The first, at a focal length of only 70mm, shows that it is visible in Santa Barbara's suburbs using a moderately dark location and ordinary camera equipment. In the second, made two days earlier in darker skies along Camino Cielo at 105mm, the comet appears brighter and its second bluish ion tail is just barely visible. The third is a closeup made with a 500mm lens showing the comet's lovely turquoise corona and a bit of blue in its tail, which is many thousands of miles in length. The nucleus of the comet is only about 3 miles in diameter and travelling at 144,000 miles per hour, but I can imagine that I can actually see it in the third frame. Note that the two stars at the bottom are also visible below Neowise in the first image.