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.

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Our team has been on fire lately—publishing sweeping, one-of-a-kind investigations, ambitious, groundbreaking projects, and even releasing “the holy shit documentary of the year.” And that’s on top of protecting free and fair elections and standing up to bullies and BS when others in the media don’t.

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