I stood at Wendy Park with my jaw nearly on the ground after seeing Comet NEOWISE pop up on the back of my camera. I let out a primal yell, feeling like a kid on Christmas, and immediately called my astronomy buddy P. Sisto Images to talk about how incredible it was.
Comets like this are extremely rare to see with the naked eye and NEOWISE is a once in a lifetime astronomical opportunity, as it doesn’t pass Earth again for another 6,800 years. It’s also 3 miles across!
This shot was taken with the Star Adventurer Pro star tracker, with 12 shots stacked at f/4, ISO 800 and 25 seconds for maximum detail in the comet and sharpness of the stars.
It was then turned off and the foreground was taken from the same spot for the lighthouse.
If you don’t have a tracker, not to worry. You can get similar results shooting at shutter speeds around 3-4 seconds for telephoto lens’. Anything longer than that can lead to the comet blurring and the stars trailing because of how fast they move across the sky.
I highly recommend trying to locate this wonder but be sure to do it quick, as it lasts only a couple more weeks and its brightness can dim.
To see NEOWISE, look at the Northwest horizon about an hour after sunset. The darker and clearer skies you’re in, the better. Watching from the shores of Lake Erie is a good viewing point because the horizon is low and unobstructed. A pair of binoculars or camera will also greatly help your chances of spotting it. Enjoy!