Comet NEOWISE Livestream: How to Watch Closest Approach to Earth Live Online

Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE has thrilled skywatchers in recent weeks and now the object, which is currently located around 64 million miles from Earth, is making its closest approach to our planet.

To mark the event, The Virtual Telescope Project (VTP)—founded by Italian astronomer Gianluca Masi—will be providing a live stream of the comet giving you a chance to see this "cosmic snowball" from your home. The live feed will start at 3:30 p.m. ET on July 23.

"Observing a bright comet is always an unforgettable and rare experience. Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE is now giving a superb show in the sky and we plan to share it live with you," Masi wrote on the VTP website.

Also today, the Lowell Observatory in Flagstaff, Arizona will be hosting a live online event beginning at 11:30 p.m. EDT discussing the comet and how to view it.

Weather permitting, the event will feature live views of the object from Lowell's Open Deck Observatory. However, if skies are cloudy, observatory educators will show images of the comet that have been captured recently.

If you would prefer to see the comet outdoors, it is still visible from the Northern Hemisphere in the evening sky, although the object has become noticeably dimmer as it moves further away from the sun.

While it may be possible to see the comet with the naked eye where skies are dark and clear, you will most likely need a pair of binoculars to find it.

"It is always better to observe comets with optical aid, especially a pair of binoculars and to seek dark rural skies, away from light polluted cities," Michael Mattiazzo, an amateur astronomer who has discovered eight comets, told Newsweek.

The best time to view the comet will be just after sunset when it will be low in the northwestern sky in the constellation Ursa Major, just below the Big Dipper. The object will look like a fuzzy star with a long tail.

If you are able to locate the comet with binoculars, try removing them to see if you can spot it with the naked eye.

The comet, which was discovered on March 27 this year, should be visible for the rest of July as it climbs higher in the sky, however, it is also becoming fainter. By the end of the month, Mattiazzo said it may be too faint to see with the naked eye as heads away from the Earth, back toward the outer solar system. Its long elliptical orbit around the sun means it won't be back for another 6,800 years.

"Seeing the comet now, knowing it is leaving us, brings to me a sense of gratitude," Masi told Newsweek. "It offered us a great show, made it possible for a lot of people to discover the beauty of the sky and [gave] scientists a bright comet to study."

Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE
An image of Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE captured by astronomer Gianluca Masi on July 18, 2020. © Gianluca Masi - The Virtual Telescope Project