Once in a Lifetime Comet Visible Over Wood Buffalo

Look to the sky at night and you may just see a once in a lifetime view.

Comet NEOWISE is currently on track to pass by the earth over the next couple of weeks.

This is the first time in nearly 25 years a comet can be seen with the naked eye and not a telescope.

Creator of the ‘Fort McMurray Amateur Astronomy Enthusiasts’ group Jon Tupper tells Mix News it will be extra bright across Wood Buffalo.

“The farther north you go the more visible it is in the sky… in Fort McMurray, it’s called a circumpolar object meaning it never dips below the horizon.”

The last two comets that were visible by the naked eye were Hale-Bopp and Hyakutake in the mid-1990s.

NEOWISE can currently be seen from dusk till dawn.

“Look towards the northwest and look very low to the horizon and it’ll appear as a faint object, a little bit of a fuzzy dot as it were, and if you look very carefully you’ll see the fuzzy dot has a bit of a tail that goes up towards the top of the sky,” added Tupper.

His best advice is to find the big dipper and look down and you should see NEOWISE before you hit the horizon.

July 20 and July 22 are expected to be the best days to view the comet. A new moon is slated to happen on the 20 with NEOWISE expected to be at its closest on the 22.

“It really is, for many, many people, a comet of a lifetime and we in Fort McMurray have such a good view of it, it’s one of the few times when it comes to astronomy that we benefit from being this far north.”

This will be the only time we’ll be able to see NEOWISE as its orbital period is around 6,800 years.

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