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Photos: Local shutterbugs get up early to snap images of ‘once in a decade’ comet

Comet F3, a.k.a. Neowise, is still visible, but you get up before the birds if you want to see it

Photographers and astronomy enthusiasts were up early this past weekend to capture images of the Neowise comet as it continues to streak across the skies.

You can see the comet in the early morning pre-dawn sky just below the Big Dipper. It will be visible for the next couple of weeks, and possibly into August. The comet is bright enough to see with the naked eye, and images are being captured on both cameras and cellphones.

Neowise is a bit larger than half the height of Mount Everest, Backyard Astronomer Gary Boyle said in his latest column, adding the celestial object falls into the category of a “once in a decade comet”.

“Neowise will be closest to earth on its way out of the solar system on July 22 at a safe distance of 103 million kilometres,” Boyle wrote last week. “(It) will be starting to fade with a shortening tail as it retreats from the sun's heat and back to the icy depths of space.”