PASSING BY: The NEOWISE comet comes only once every 4000-5000 years. This picture was captured near Roma. PHOTO: Natalie Rayner
PASSING BY: The NEOWISE comet comes only once every 4000-5000 years. This picture was captured near Roma. PHOTO: Natalie Rayner

How to see once-in-4000 year comet tonight in southwest skies

IT IS a once in a lifetime event, now the NEOWISE comet is passing Australia for the first time in 4700 years.

Hobby astronomer and Roma local Natalie Rayner has spent the past week shooting images of the rare comet and has figured out how to capture the special moment on camera.

“You can’t see with your eye you’ll have to use the camera,” she said.

“It’s very hard to see.”

The comet can be seen to the northwest and will appear low in the sky.

“It’s a good view from Campbell Park, or where there’s a good flat view.

“Open or up high, with a clear view to the northwest.”

PASSING BY: The NEOWISE comet comes only once every 4000-5000 years. This picture was captured near Roma. PHOTO: Natalie Rayner
PASSING BY: The NEOWISE comet comes only once every 4000-5000 years. This picture was captured near Roma. PHOTO: Natalie Rayner

To capture the photo on a DSLR camera:

  • Set ISO to 3000
  • Set the shutter speed to 6 seconds
  • Set the aperture to f/2.8
  • Use a 35mm or narrower prime lens
  • Use a tripod to prevent shaking during exposure
  • Use a timed or remote shutter

Ms Rayner said the best time to capture NEOWISE is between dusk and 7.30pm.

“It’s going to get harder and harder because it’s getting further and further,” she said.

“It’s heading out of the solar system as far as I know.”


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