Did I go out over the weekend to see the comet? Of course I did! My brother and I went out Friday night to a dark spot near Palomar Mountain, and we were lucky that the sky was exceptionally clear and still. A little after 9:00 we stopped to get our bearings and to check on whether we could see anything—and we could, though only barely. Here’s a full-frame picture that’s pretty close to what you can see with your naked eye. Neowise is at the bottom center:

I amped up the contrast a little bit to make Neowise more visible in the picture. In real life, I could make it out if I turned by head left and right slowly, but if I just looked straight at it I couldn’t really see anything. My brother brought a pair of binoculars, and those made Neowise clearly visible.

Having done that, I kept driving into darker territory and took a better picture at about a quarter to ten:

July 18, 2020 — On Highway 79 near Warner Springs, California

This is cropped, and with a longer exposure time than the first picture. I also fiddled with the contrast in Photoshop a bit more. In any case, Neowise is very clearly visible, and you can get a sense of its size by comparing it to the telephone poles.

So that’s that. I’ve now seen a comet and I can cross it off my bucket list.

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate