• Mobile device users can see comet NEOWISE using the SkySafari 6 app
  • The app will provide information regarding the comet's visibility
  • The comet is currently moving toward its closest distance to Earth and is expected to reach it on Wednesday

Those looking to spot the visible comet NEOWISE may do so from anywhere in the world using various astronomy apps. Through their mobile devices, users will be able to watch the comet as it makes its closest approach to Earth.

Currently, there are various astronomy apps available for iOS and Android users that can be used to keep track of different cosmic bodies in the sky. One of these is the SkySafari 6 app.

To view comet NEOWISE through this app, tap on the Search icon and click on the Brightest Comets option. From here, users will be prompted to select the name of the comet that they’re looking for. Comet NEOWISE, which was first spotted by NASA’s Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) telescope in March, is listed as C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE).

Clicking on the comet’s name will display information regarding its visibility based on the user’s location. To check the comet’s current position in the sky, users can tap the Center icon.

To see where the comet will appear in the future, users can adjust the time and date settings on comet NEOWISE’s page.

Aside from the app’s display feature, which shows an enhanced representation of the comet’s tail, users can also utilize SkySafari 6’s compass mode to check the location of comet NEOWISE in the sky.

Those who can’t access the app may still spot comet NEOWISE by looking toward the northwest portion of the sky right after sunset. From here, the comet will appear below the Big Dipper constellation.

“If you’re looking at the sky without the help of observation tools, Comet NEOWISE will likely look like a fuzzy star with a bit of a tail, so using binoculars or a small telescope is recommended to get the best views of this object,” NASA stated.

Currently, comet NEOWISE is approaching its closest distance to Earth, and it is expected to reach it on Wednesday. During its near-Earth flyby, the comet will be about 64 million miles from the planet.

After moving past the planet, comet NEOWISE will carry on with its journey outside the Solar System. According to astronomers, the bright comet is not expected to return to Earth’s neighborhood within the next 6,800 years.

Comet NEOWISE Sky Map
Skychart showing the location of Comet C/2020 F3 just after sunset, July 15 through 23. NASA/JPL-Caltech