An atlas from the Han Dynasty describes comets as, “long-tailed pheasant stars“. In Indian mythology dhumketu (comet) is associated with two demons, Rahu and Kethu. Earthlings were treated to the sight of this “long-tailed pheasant star” making its way across the sky in late June and July. NEOWISE was discovered by the Wide-field Infrared Survey Exporer (WISE) space telescope in March 2020. It was first visible in the northern hemisphere during the predawn hours, even in New York City! As the comet became visible during the evening, it looked even better from darker skies. I joined fellow members of the Amateur Astronomers Association of New York on four excursions to upstate New York to photograph the dhumketu.

NEOWISE just below the Big Dipper and above the International Space Station streaking across the sky in this two minute exposure from Ellenville, NY.
A single frame of NEOWISE as a satellite streaks by and a fuzzy cloud goes through the tail. From Ellenville, NY.
NEOWISE and two stars reflected in Colgate Lake near East Jewett, NY.
The stars Alkaphrah and Talitha accompany the comet above Colgate Lake.
The Big Dipper, the International Space Station and NEOWISE at Colgate Lake.
A meteor streaks by NEOWISE at a reservoir near Dormansville, NY.
The moon sets at Ashokan Reservoir on one of the last good nights to view the comet.
Early morning of July 9 from Central Park.
I was amazed to get this detail on the same morning from the park with a telephoto lens.
An early morning flyover of the International Space Station with NEOWISE and some major stars.
Clouds high and low, thin and heavy thwarted many attempts to photograph NEOWISE. It is in this picture, at the top near the large cloud.
Looking like a small fuzzy ball near the brightly illuminated Empire State Building.
Comet NEOWISE | 2020 | New Work | Comments (0)

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