By Hazarry Haji Ali Ahmad, the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam
▪ Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) has survived its closest encounter with the Sun on Sat, July 4, 2020 in its journey through the Solar System
▪ Currently, massive amount of Comet’s dust particles and water are vaporised by the Sun producing very bright coma and long tail which is visible to the naked-eyes
▪ Comet is expected to make it’s appearance in the evening twilight from July 15, 2020 in Brunei Darussalam
▪ Closest approach of Comet NEOWISE to Earth happens on Thursday, Jul 23 2020 at a distance of 0.69 AU, or 104 million km
▪ The comet orbit takes around the sun about 7,000 years, it truly is a once in a lifetime event!
▪ Use this live sky chart to locate the current comet position from our Brunei’s sky
▪ PABD members will scout the comet. Join to share your comet photos from Brunei and latest comet discussion via our Telegram Channel t.me/bruneiastronomy and discussion group t.me/AstronomyBN
Update (Sunday, 26 July 2020)
Comet Neowise bids farewell this week. There are still time to capture the comet before it gets father away from us. NEOWISE’s brightness is rapidly fading and the bright moon is interfering with comet each night, washing out the display.
Members of the Astronomical Society of Brunei Darussalam (PABD) had the privilege to be with Dr Ceri Powell, the Managing Director of Brunei Shell Petroleum, at House 49 in Panaga, Brunei Darussalam, for a stargazing session on July 26, 2020.
Being amongst the most influential women leader in oil and gas, Dr Powell is also an eco-activist who fascinates about the night sky. It was a golden opportunity to exchange ideas in astronomy/nature and snap this awesome group photo with a well-known scientist. It was not that difficult to capture this single shot photo with the comet in the background– simply a DSLR camera on a sturdy tripod [with a 50mm lens + some light + 5 seconds exposure + ISO1600 + clear sky]. The hardest part was to remain standstill for 5 seconds, repeat and hope for the best shot.
PABD had also organised the comet observation on Tuesday, July 21, 2020 in Tutong, Brunei Darussalam.
Update (Sunday, 19 July 2020)
Brilliant Comet NEOWISE C/2020 F3 made a rare appearance in the evening twilight from Brunei Darussalam today, July 18, 2020. Members of PABD sighted the comet at 7.30 pm this evening. The comet is an easy target for photography and through binoculars.
The comet is still easily visible until the end of July from Brunei Darussalam. You’ll need a very dark sky to spot it via naked eyes. It’s the most spectacular comet in years and once in a lifetime opportunity!
This comet is bright with a long tail that is clearly visible on a standard DSLR. Grab your camera and take this one-time opportunity to photograph the brightest comet since 1997 Hale-Bopp comet!
Update (Sunday, 02 July 2020):
Incredible comet NEOWISE will be visible in the evening sky from Brunei very soon! Currently, many northernmost observers and even from space/airplane have spotted the bright and spectacular comet. It is currently a naked eye object (magnitude 1.6 by COBS).
Here is an infographic on the anticipated comet to guide you seeing the spectacle:
Update (Sunday, 05 July 2020):
Evening Comet – If the comet maintains it’s brightness, behold for a spectacular display when the comet will be placed above the Northwest horizon after sunset by mid-July. It will be a good time to spot Neowise when it emerges from the Sun’s glare for northern hemisphere.
How to spot the Comet? The sky chart below will guide you to spot the comet from Brunei from July 15 until end of August 2020. Comet observers will need an unobstructed horizon (free of trees and building) and clear skies to the northwest to enjoy the spectacular display.
You can also use this live sky chart (www.bruneiastronomy.org/starchart/) to locate the current comet position from our Brunei’s sky.
The best time to observe the comet at night: Comet C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) will make it’s closest approach to Earth on Thursday, July 23 2020 at 7:16 (local Brunei Time) at a distance of 0.69186842 Astronomical Units, or 103,502,043 kilometers.
It will be a spectacular sight in the evening, when the Comet joins the 3-day old moon crescent with best visibility for earthshine on July 23, 2020. Look Northwest just after the end of dusk and spot the entire moon orb glowing about 30° west of the shining Comet F3.
Don’t miss this opportunity: The orbit period of the comet takes around the sun is about 6,765 years. This means that it will come close to the Sun on June 24, 8786. Truly a once in a lifetime event!
Farewell to NEOWISE: As the comet gets higher everyday during end of July, it will continue to recede from the Sun while it’s brightness diminishes. The light curve chart below predicts the magnitude of Neowise which should maintain a naked eye object with magnitude less than 6 in the evening sky until early August.
Friday, July 03, 2020 – The recently discovered comet Neowise could become visible to the naked eye in the coming weeks as long as it does not fizzle out.
Unfortunately, Neowise will be positioned very close to the Sun in our sky and it is not observable in the following week of July 11 until 15, 2020. Use this ephemerids of Comet C/2020 F3 to find out the rise and set times and it’s celestial positions:
The comet NEOWISE (C/2020 F3) is currently a naked eye object (magnitude 1.8 by COBS) and located very low in the North-Eastern horizon before sunrise. But hunting the comet from around Brunei will be a challenge at the moment as the comet will rise after astronomical twilight, when dawn ends and rapidly brightening the sky.
To attempt seeing the comet, go to a place with unobstructed view of sky in the morning twilight. Clear sky is a must! Binoculars will be handy too and use the chart above to locate the comet.
C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE) is a retrograde comet with a near-parabolic orbit discovered on March 27, 2020 by the NASA’s Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) space telescope. It will pass closest to the Sun on July 3, 2020.
Promising news about the comet Neowise: https://skyandtelescope.org/astronomy-news/anticipation-grows-for-comets-neowise-and-lemmon/
Report your comet observation:
Members of PABD, please report your comet observations here:
Comet Observation Database (visual and CCD photometry) [ https://cobs.si/ ]
International Comet Quarterly (ICQ) (visual and CCD photometry) [ http://www.icq.eps.harvard.edu/ ]
Cometbase (visual and CCD photometry) [ http://220.127.116.11/ ]
CARA Project (af(rho) CCD photometry) [ http://cara.uai.it/ ]
British Astronomical Society (all observations) [ https://britastro.org/section_front/10 ]
The German Comet Group (all observations) [ https://fg-kometen.v….de/fgk_hpe.htm ]
Observación de Cometas de la LIADA (all observations) [ https://rastreadores…-observaciones/ ]
Astronomical Ring for Access to Spectroscopy (ARAS) (spectroscopy) [ http://www.astrosurf.com/aras/ ]