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Tags astronomy , comets

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Old 11th July 2020, 03:45 PM   #1
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Cool Naked Eye Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE - Nearest Earth July 23

Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE has passed around the Sun and is moving into the early evening western sky. It’s currently visible by naked eye, but is dimming as it heads toward its closest approach to Earth at 0.69 AU on July 23.

I’ve created two charts and an ephemeris that can be viewed on my Comets webpage: https://www.CurtRenz.com/comets.html

Photos and descriptions of the comet would be welcome additions to this thread.
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Old 11th July 2020, 04:22 PM   #2
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I'm looking forward to seeing it! I'm not looking forward to the crazy theories that are bound to accompany it. 2020 has been ****** enough -- we don't need more comet death conspiracy theories on top of it.

Neowise is a pretty cool name, though. It reminds me of both The Matrix (Neo) and ElfQuest (Skywise).
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Old 11th July 2020, 04:32 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by Notrump View Post
Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE has passed around the Sun and is moving into the early evening western sky. It’s currently visible by naked eye, but is dimming as it heads toward its closest approach to Earth at 0.69 AU on July 23.

I’ve created two charts and an ephemeris that can be viewed on my Comets webpage: https://www.CurtRenz.com/comets.html

Photos and descriptions of the comet would be welcome additions to this thread.
Thanks for those. Much appreciated. However, you do realise that comets are only visible due to electric woo, yes?
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Old 11th July 2020, 07:12 PM   #4
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I love comets but I'm in the city (light pollution) and I expect at best all I will see is a fuzzy green thing and for that I have to get up at 4 in the morning and hope it isn't cloudy.

I have to tell you though, whatever the last big comet was ( maybe ~20 yrs ago give or take) my son and I drove just over a small hill out of the city lights and saw the most incredible comet with a tail across half of the visible sky. It was incredible!
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Old 11th July 2020, 08:11 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
I love comets but I'm in the city (light pollution) and I expect at best all I will see is a fuzzy green thing and for that I have to get up at 4 in the morning and hope it isn't cloudy.

I have to tell you though, whatever the last big comet was ( maybe ~20 yrs ago give or take) my son and I drove just over a small hill out of the city lights and saw the most incredible comet with a tail across half of the visible sky. It was incredible!
My understanding is that it will be visible for several night at the least, so you might have an opportunity during that time.
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Old 11th July 2020, 09:50 PM   #6
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OK, this is better than I thought.

Pics from Colorado and Hungary

I was picturing a fuzzy green comet without a tail. I may give it a try but I'm still up against clouds, haze and light pollution.
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Old 12th July 2020, 02:19 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
I have to tell you though, whatever the last big comet was ( maybe ~20 yrs ago give or take) my son and I drove just over a small hill out of the city lights and saw the most incredible comet with a tail across half of the visible sky. It was incredible!
Probably Hale-Bopp in '97;

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Old 12th July 2020, 09:05 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by alfaniner View Post
I'm looking forward to seeing it! I'm not looking forward to the crazy theories that are bound to accompany it. 2020 has been ****** enough -- we don't need more comet death conspiracy theories on top of it.

Neowise is a pretty cool name, though. It reminds me of both The Matrix (Neo) and ElfQuest (Skywise).
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“When the Jews return to Zion / And a comet rips the sky / And the Holy Roman Empire rises, / Then You and I must die. / From the eternal sea he rises, / Creating armies on either shore, / Turning man against his brother / ‘Til man exists no more.”
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Old 12th July 2020, 04:01 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by jonesdave116 View Post
Probably Hale-Bopp in '97;

I know it wasn't Hale-Bopp just from looking at the image, so I went looking. It was Comet Hyakutake (1996).

The length of the tail was stunning!

Image

Scroll down to #1Comet Hyakutake (1996)
Quote:
How do you quantify “best?” It’s always tough — especially when it comes to something that is purely a matter of visual appeal. Most would agree that the choice of best northern-hemisphere comet in the past 20 years comes down to choosing between Hale-Bopp and Hyakutake. For me Comet Hyakutake (C/1996 B2) was the better comet. It’s a personal thing for sure, and you had to be there . . .
I have to agree.
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Old 12th July 2020, 05:17 PM   #10
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Yes, the NH lucked out on easily the two best comets this century - McNaught & C2011 Lovejoy, both of which were unbelievably good. Lovejoy had a 120 degree tail, while McNaught was about 15 degrees, but much brighter.

McNaught was so bright in our skies one woman rang the police to say there was a plane on fire in the sky. (At least she didn't ring the fire brigade!)

Both those comets dead-heat for the coolest astronomical event I've witnessed, tying with the great NZ bolide of 2015.

https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/a...ectid=11400450

I'm one of the witnesses quoted, and it's true - you could hear it.
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Old 12th July 2020, 05:19 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Notrump View Post
Photos and descriptions of the comet would be welcome additions to this thread.
I'll be trying for photos when it moves into our view late in the month, so I hope it's still worth seeing at that stage.
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Old 13th July 2020, 05:17 AM   #12
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I woke up at 4:40 this morning, before my alarm, and decided to go outside to see if I could find the comet. There were too many trees and neighbors' lights around my house, so I drove to cemetery at the edge of my neighborhood.

There was still a fair amount of light pollution and a little haze, but I spotted the comet. I first had to find it with my binoculars; picking it out with my naked eye was impossible without finding it first with the magnification.

As only the 3rd (I think) comet I've seen, it was pretty cool.
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Old 13th July 2020, 05:54 AM   #13
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A rather poor effort by me, but happy to have recorded it from my back garden. Driving out to a dark, high place might be on the cards.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Neowise.jpg (51.5 KB, 4 views)
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Old 13th July 2020, 07:40 AM   #14
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For a different view of the comet here is it from the ISS:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yh1_wHdUx3Y
it shows up with the dawn at about 3 mins in.
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Old 13th July 2020, 08:01 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
I'll be trying for photos when it moves into our view late in the month, so I hope it's still worth seeing at that stage.
How can I work out when it will be visible in Malaysia? Do I just have to look for Auriga and hope I can see F3?
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Old 13th July 2020, 11:11 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Capsid View Post
A rather poor effort by me, but happy to have recorded it from my back garden. Driving out to a dark, high place might be on the cards.
That's not bad at all! Good effort.

Originally Posted by gypsyjackson View Post
How can I work out when it will be visible in Malaysia? Do I just have to look for Auriga and hope I can see F3?
Yeah, download a star map to help you find the stars as pointers and search.

Let us know how it goes!
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Old 13th July 2020, 05:10 PM   #17
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How much of the tail can you see with binos?
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Old 13th July 2020, 05:24 PM   #18
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I went out last night at bedtime (10:15PM PDT) to look but it was still too light out.
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Old 14th July 2020, 07:43 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Yeah, download a star map to help you find the stars as pointers and search.

Let us know how it goes!
I have Sky Guide on my iPad, but it wasn’t finding it. But that’s because I only just remembered to update!

Apparently set here just before that, and it’s due to rise in daylight tomorrow morning, and set just after sundown. Will have a go.
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Old 17th July 2020, 12:01 AM   #20
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Some nice pictures of it:

https://www.theguardian.com/science/...ey-in-pictures

I still haven't seen it, ever since I found out about it it's been cloudy.
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Old 17th July 2020, 02:51 AM   #21
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Nice! Some impressive pics there.

If you're looking through a telescope or binoculars, be sure to check out Jupiter & Saturn, which are very prominent at the moment.

Middle of winter in Auckland isn't the ideal time, unfortunately.
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Old 19th July 2020, 05:29 AM   #22
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Has it relatively suddenly got much dinner? I went out to see it last night (northern Germany) and could just about see it with small binoculars; more a hazy blob than anything spectacular!

I remember seeing magnitude 1.6 on heavens-above not at at long ago, but last night it was saying 2.8 (I think) and today 3.3.

Is it expected to just fade from this point?
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Old 19th July 2020, 07:51 AM   #23
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Originally Posted by Meridian View Post
Has it relatively suddenly got much dinner? I went out to see it last night (northern Germany) and could just about see it with small binoculars; more a hazy blob than anything spectacular!

I remember seeing magnitude 1.6 on heavens-above not at at long ago, but last night it was saying 2.8 (I think) and today 3.3.

Is it expected to just fade from this point?
The closest approach, theoretically best visibility, will be on July 23.
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Old 19th July 2020, 08:22 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by alfaniner View Post
The closest approach, theoretically best visibility, will be on July 23.
No, it is losing its tail the further away from the Sun it gets. It is getting higher in the sky.

It's misleading because there are some great pics out there. Those are extended exposures with lenses stronger than the unaided eye.

I think it's been fairly faint to the unaided eye all along.
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Old 21st July 2020, 12:15 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
I know it wasn't Hale-Bopp just from looking at the image, so I went looking. It was Comet Hyakutake (1996).

The length of the tail was stunning!

Image

Scroll down to #1Comet Hyakutake (1996)I have to agree.
I remember that one well. I was living in Denver at the time, and I drove into the mountains (Squaw Pass road) to see it. Hyukatake came within 0.1 AU of earth, and I think I went to see it on or within a day of it's closest approach. The tail covered much of the sky.

I saw the current comet last night. I now live in Central City (in the mountains west of Denver), so I just drove a few miles out of town to get a view of the right part of the sky with no lights. I had gone to the same place the night before, but there was a big mountain wave cloud obstructing most of that area of the sky. That type of cloud is induced by wind blowing over the mountains and tends not to move. Last night it was clear. The comet is pretty prominent with binoculars, but fairly dim to the naked eye. I was able to see it by naked eye after having spotted it through binoculars so I knew where it was, and it got a bit easier to see as the sky got darker. When I got home, I discovered that it was visible from right in front of my house. There is a hill that I had thought might obstruct it. There are street lights there too, so not as good conditions for seeing the comet as the spot I drove to.
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Old 21st July 2020, 12:39 PM   #26
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I saw it two nights ago, I also found it with binoculars first and could only just spot it without. I couldn't see it from my garden because of the foliage, but there's a footpath a few houses down the road which leads to a field which has a clear outlook north, no lights other than the occasional car along a road near the horizon.

I went out too soon, having underestimated how long it would take to get fully dark, and was pretty cold and tired by the time it finally became visible. I'm hoping to see it again before it disappears, but last night was too cloudy and so is tonight. If there is another clear night in the next few days, I'll go out later and take a folding chair and a woolly hat.
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Old 21st July 2020, 01:33 PM   #27
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I went out just before 10pm to a park just down the street (middle of the city). I was able to find it with binoculars but it was pretty faint. I did see the two tails. I had hoped to be able to get some photos but I knew it wasn't bright enough.
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Old 21st July 2020, 01:51 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by CORed View Post
When I got home, I discovered that it was visible from right in front of my house. There is a hill that I had thought might obstruct it. There are street lights there too, so not as good conditions for seeing the comet as the spot I drove to.
That's exactly what happened to me when I took my kids to a dark sky spot about half an hour's drive from home to see Lovejoy.

It did look better in the dark, but was easily visible despite terrible light pollution where I live.

Still waiting for Neowise to rise here.
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Old 21st July 2020, 02:16 PM   #29
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I finally saw it last night, just below the Big Dipper. If its clear I'll try again tonight. I've turned off some outdoor lighting that was hampering my viewing.
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Old 21st July 2020, 04:00 PM   #30
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I've just seen this thread. Does anyone know if it's visible from Scotland?

I have a good dark-sky viewing spot a mile or so from my house, although since we're only a month from the solstice I might be out of luck. If the sky is clear there may still be too much light around even at solar midnight (which is about 01:15 I think).

Right now it's pouring with rain so although it seems dark the sky will be cloud-covered.
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Old 21st July 2020, 05:08 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
I've just seen this thread. Does anyone know if it's visible from Scotland?
Absolutely will be. Between the Big Dipper and the horizon as soon as it gets properly dark.

This will give you precise details: https://theskylive.com/planetarium?obj=c2020f3
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Old 22nd July 2020, 09:31 PM   #32
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I saw it! I saw the comet! Wow, that's cool.

It's been cloudy every night. Finally a clear night. I couldn't see it with the naked eye. I saw it with binoculars.

I couldn't find it. I thought the trees in the back yard might be too tall for me to see it. I went out to the yard to a place where there is a little break in the trees. Still couldn't find it. Backed up into the yard to a darker spot. Still couldn't find it. I was about to give up.

I was just waiving the binoculars around in the general area. Then I thought to try to use stars to get some orientation and map out a planned scan of the sky. As I was trying to track down some stars..there it was! Now that I know where it is I can see it from my deck.

It's so strange to see something like that in the sky. What a wonderful world!
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Old 23rd July 2020, 04:08 PM   #33
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Originally Posted by The Atheist View Post
Absolutely will be. Between the Big Dipper and the horizon as soon as it gets properly dark.

This will give you precise details: https://theskylive.com/planetarium?obj=c2020f3

Thanks. There is a bit of a problem with "properly dark" at 55 degrees north in July when the sky is clear, but it's clear now so I think I'll give it a shot. An hour later might be even darker.

I remember going with friends to see Hale-Bopp in 1997 from a hill on the South Downs.
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Old 23rd July 2020, 04:25 PM   #34
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
Thanks. There is a bit of a problem with "properly dark" at 55 degrees north in July when the sky is clear, but it's clear now so I think I'll give it a shot. An hour later might be even darker.

I remember going with friends to see Hale-Bopp in 1997 from a hill on the South Downs.
I'm at about latitude 48 and managed to see it by going to bed partially dressed and going out to look when I woke up to pee for the first time. It helps that there's a door to the west-facing deck three feet from my side of the bed!

Not gonna be happening tonight, I'd say.
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Old 23rd July 2020, 04:48 PM   #35
gypsyjackson
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Here in Malaysia, it’s mostly been out during the day, and our early nights have been cloudy. But my uncle went camping in England and sent me this shot:

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Old 23rd July 2020, 04:53 PM   #36
Rolfe
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
I'm at about latitude 48 and managed to see it by going to bed partially dressed and going out to look when I woke up to pee for the first time. It helps that there's a door to the west-facing deck three feet from my side of the bed!

Not gonna be happening tonight, I'd say.

It was a nice idea while it lasted. When I got outside I realised it was more cloudy than it had been at ten, when I saw the northerly sky quite clear, but I drove up to my aurora-watching spot anyway. Once I had switched off the car lights and my eyes began to adjust I could see how much cloud there was (too much), and also that without the cloud the sky would probably have been too light anyway. I was only half an hour off solar midnight but the clear patches of sky were pretty bright.

We don't exactly get White Nights like in the Baltic, but we don't see a dark sky in summer. I was at a party one June in a friend's house quite close to the spot I was looking from, and the north-facing wall of her living-room is mostly glass. Someone was admiring the view and said, I think I'll stay here till it gets dark, and the answer came back, you'll still be here in the middle of August then.

Some super pictures around though, I'll settle for these.
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Old 23rd July 2020, 05:04 PM   #37
Trebuchet
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Originally Posted by Rolfe View Post
It was a nice idea while it lasted. When I got outside I realised it was more cloudy than it had been at ten, when I saw the northerly sky quite clear, but I drove up to my aurora-watching spot anyway. Once I had switched off the car lights and my eyes began to adjust I could see how much cloud there was (too much), and also that without the cloud the sky would probably have been too light anyway. I was only half an hour off solar midnight but the clear patches of sky were pretty bright.

We don't exactly get White Nights like in the Baltic, but we don't see a dark sky in summer. I was at a party one June in a friend's house quite close to the spot I was looking from, and the north-facing wall of her living-room is mostly glass. Someone was admiring the view and said, I think I'll stay here till it gets dark, and the answer came back, you'll still be here in the middle of August then.

Some super pictures around though, I'll settle for these.
Yup. The first night I looked for it, I went up on the upper deck where the outdoor lighting wasn't bothering me as much, sat down and closed my eyes to adjust, the got up and looked. Wait, why is it so hard to see across the street? Fog had rolled in. The next month is known as "Fogust" around here.
I'm all in favor of northern hemisphere winter comets!
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Old 23rd July 2020, 07:58 PM   #38
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
I'm at about latitude 48 and managed to see it by going to bed partially dressed and going out to look when I woke up to pee for the first time. It helps that there's a door to the west-facing deck three feet from my side of the bed!

Not gonna be happening tonight, I'd say.
Man, the crazy rituals one has to go through just to see a comet! OK... I'll try it...
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Old 27th July 2020, 06:32 AM   #39
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I managed to see it while at my inlaws who live in the country, so without all the light pollution around my house. Even then I had to use binoculars.
Since then it's been overcast, so I guess that was it.
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Old 27th July 2020, 09:16 AM   #40
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I went out about 11:30 PM night before last and was unable to find with just wearing my glasses. I finally did locate it with binoculars but it's getting pretty dim. Much more so than even just a week or so ago.
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