How to use the smartphone to see the comet NEOWISE in Brazil

How to use the smartphone to see the comet NEOWISE in Brazil

Comet Neowise can be spotted with the naked eye in Brazilian skies until the end of the month, and some smartphone apps can help you find it

Since the beginning of the month, the passage of the comet NEOWISE has been one of the main subjects among astronomy lovers. This is because, although the comet can already be observed since March with the help of telescopes, it was in July that it became possible to see it with the naked eye and now it is possible to see it even here in Brazil.

Since last Wednesday (22), the comet can be seen in the Brazilian skies, ending the even exclusivity of the countries of the northern hemisphere in the possibility of seeing it with the naked eye.

For now, the comet has already been seen cutting through the skies of Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso do Sul, Esprito Santo (these three states on Wednesday, the 22nd), Rio de Janeiro, So Paulo and Paran (the last three on the last Thursday -day, 23) and this Friday (24) it should be the turn of the residents of Rio Grande do Sul and Santa Catarina to see his passage.

According to NASA, the NEOWISE It is one of the few comets that can be seen with the naked eye throughout the 21st century, and the chances of doing so are running out. This is because this Thursday (23) it reached the closest point to Earth in its trajectory, and from that date it should gradually distance itself until it can no longer be seen without the use of telescopes.

How to spot NEOWISE comet with the naked eye

neowise brazil Comet Neowise passing by Cear do Cus (Image: Emanuel Hericlys Elizirio Carneiro)

Unfortunately, seeing the comet with the naked eye is not as easy as it looks, and requires a little luck. This is because, due to factors such as atmospheric pollution, in many cities the NEOWISE it is not so distinguished from other stars in the sky, and I need to know exactly where one is looking so as not to confuse it with other celestial bodies.

A very simple way to do this with the help of the smartphone: there are several apps for mapping the skies that can be downloaded for free on the cell phone, and some of them are already updated to identify the NEOWISE.

These applications use the phone's camera and the device's GPS data to assist you in this task. Based on the location data, they are able to identify which constellations, planets and other celestial bodies are visible in that region, and when pointing the cell phone camera towards the sky, the application indicates on the screen the name of all the constellations and celestial bodies gifts including the comet NEOWISE.

neowise brazil Comet Neowise spotted in the dogs of Belo Horizonte (Image: Vincius Teixeira)

If you use cell phone Android, a good app for this type of thing is Star Walk 2 Free, by Vito Technology, and if you use a iPhone the best option is the Constellation Map mobile, from siranet GK. Both applications do real-time mapping of the sky and, best of all, they are both free, so you can download and install them without worrying about your card bill.

To find the position of the comet in both apps, just search for C / 2020 F3 (the comet identification) or just NEOWISE, and the app shows the exact point where it is located. See how Comet NEOWISE appears on the Constellation Map:

Constellation map shows comet NEOWISE

Sky Walk 2 also shows the trajectory of the comet, as in the image below:

Image for postStar Walk 2 screen showing Neowise comet

THE NEOWISE it should be visible in the Brazilian skies until the end of June, so we still have about a week before it disappears here and there. It can be seen in the skies from the end of the afternoon, but this is a more complicated time to make the sighting with the naked eye because the sun's rays get in the way. For this reason, the most recommended time to look for the comet around 10 pm, as the sky is dark enough for it to be better identified. In this period he must be closer to the horizon, and after 11 pm it is practically impossible to find him, as he is too low on the horizon to be seen.

Source: National Geographic Brazil