Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE debuts in the evening sky, offering a superb view from Rome: 14 July 2020.

Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE is now also visible at sunset, offering the best view so far. We imaged it again from Rome, capturing the unique sight of such a wonder above one of the most important architecture masterpieces ever: the St. Peter’s Dome.

Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE turns on soon after sunset - 14 July 2020.

Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE turns on soon after sunset – 14 July 2020.

After our past observations of this comet, at dawn, we could now see it again soon after sunset, significantly higher in the sky. The monument shown with comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE is again the legendary St. Peter’s Dome. This means I was still in Rome, far from ideal observing conditions, but the experience was, trust me, out of this world.

I used one of my Canon 5DmIV DSLR bodies and both a 70-200-f/2.8 and a 100mm-f/2 lenses, which proved to be amazing for this kind of imaging. Plus a sturdy tripod, of course

I was there with Giorgio Gioia, part of the Virtual Telescope Project’s team and we looked for the comet as soon as the sky was dark enough. We could promptly find it on the images I was taking, then we observed it with a binocular, too: memorable. Meantime, I was also controlling our robotic telescopes to grab close-ups of the nucleus.

The sky was not perfect, with tiny clouds on the NNW direction, but luckily we could admire this dirty snowball, even by naked eye.

Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE is perfectly placed above St. Peters Dome - 14 July 2020.

Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE is perfectly placed above St. Peters Dome – 14 July 2020.

If you are still waiting for your opportunity to find comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE, this is the time to go! We don’t know how long it will stay so bright: you are advised.

The Virtual Telescope Project will show comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE live, online, next 23 July!

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