NEOWISE – The Comet & The Story of The Spacecraft Which Discovered It

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Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE is now visible to observers in the Northern Hemisphere. You can see it in the twilight just before sunrise and now, just after sunset without any binoculars or telescopes, it’s the best comet in over a decade.
However, the spacecraft which discovered it has a pretty amazing story, it was launched just over a decade ago, helped find 3 new stars close to the Sun, and a huge catalog of asteroids. After its primary mission ended it was reactived as an asteroid survey telescope and Comet NEOWISE is one of its discoveries.

  1. Walter

    Fantastic Photo !
    Great show, I will try to catch him, when I am up…?

  2. Linda Chen

    Thank you for the diagrams and summaries of the stories. Very wonderful.

  3. Fernando Queiroz Popovic

    Any Trek Fans got the Borg vibes when Scoot said Wolf-359???

  4. Paul Derrick

    damn neighbor’s tree have been killing me

  5. Steam Suhonen

    This makes me wish the sun would set.

  6. Progressive Solutions

    Thanks for the reminder – I was waiting because I’m soooo not a morning person.

  7. Hydrochloric Acid

    6:33 TIL thar Wolf359 is a real place

  8. okrajoe

    Fascinating bit of astronomy detective work.

  9. Jose Alba

    I totally thought neo from the Matrix.
    Neo is the one that can save US. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  10. Benjamin Contreraz

    Hey Scott! Great video, as always! Subscribed and liked! Man, you should start your own space agency I’ll help you out with it! Who else thinks Scott needs a space agency?

  11. Joel Hageman

    Ima look for that tomorrow morning. I’ll go up on the hill. Been pretty clear here lately.

  12. Ondřej Charvát

    Hello Scott, love your videos. Would you be interested in making a video about the SNC’s shooting star and Pentagon’s plans for it?

  13. Bakamoichigei

    Holy FFFFFF… After watching that visualization, the ‘Finding Dark Asteroids’ infographic looked like it was _twisting…_ I don’t even get motion sick in VR but god _damn_ did _that_ about do me in! 🥴

  14. Виктор Фирсов

    The comet can’t be seen in my town(
    We have polar day now)

  15. Ugly German Truths

    Wouldn’t for such a mission the use of a retrievable and reloadable vehicle like the current unmanned Air Force Shuttle (X37) make a lot more sense? It would be more expensive for the first couple of starts… but after 10 years with 7 or 8 launches… and the chance to not just restock consumables like the Helium coolant, but also to upgrade and replace experiments/Cameras…

  16. amazingman63

    Literally only started to get cloudy while it arrived and the clouds disperse only when its not around. :/

  17. Buck3n

    Only comet I’ve seen was Hale-Bopp in 96/97. I remember walking home from school every day and seeing it. Magical!

  18. Eric Blenner-Hassett

    First step map asteroids, second atep find ones worth mining..
    The rest costs more

  19. World of AMEISO

    Scott Manley total geezer, educating us all about the wonders of the universe.

  20. Sylak

    I finally can take time to observe this… and of course the next 2 days are overcast and rainy… damn my incapacity at waking up super early!

  21. Cast Away

    I seen it before i heard anything about it cant lie about the obvious.

  22. Joel Hageman

    That there’s a lot of bits and pieces. Lot more than I knew. So, any imaging that shows how far “above” and “below” they get from the ecliptic? Maybe you could gad out of the solar system just by taking an angle away from all of that. Swimming in it. Must not be a problem for Mariner and Cassini and New Horizons et al., apparently.

  23. AubriGryphon

    I think we’re all now aware that reaction wheels are indeed an expendable resource.

  24. Drew Stevenson

    I wonder if future generations of WISE could use magazine cartridges in cube sat scales that could be linked up and exchanged as needed.

  25. Ancientreapers

    Seems fitting we would get a comet in 2020 with all the other crap that’s been going on. Maybe our ancestors were right about comets being harbingers of doom. 🤔

  26. SpetsnatzLegion 336

    I had a look from my back garden last night at 3am and yep, there it was hanging over a hill. Glad to be able to say that I saw a comet with my own eyes at least once! I find 3am is good as it is still pretty high in the sky but without the sun that appears after 4am.

  27. dave brooks

    Thanks Scott. I always know a great video when a 10 minute watch teaches me enough to need another hour of googling around the subject.

  28. Van

    Living in a valley that completely blocks the view from the horizon, so sad.
    If I want to see it I’d need to hike 2h in the morning

  29. AstroFarsography

    Thanks for the great video Scott. This was really informative. I had a great time taking a photo of C/2020 F3 Neowise. Really though this video gave me some valuable information as well on this comet. Fly safe!

  30. Loam

    West coast of Canada here, as usual 95% time of the year clouds.

  31. Ydoum's Gaming Den

    I live in a 12-floor building. 1:30 AM CEST, I decide to take the elevator to the top floor in hope to see the comet live. As I’m going up, I hear someone else pressing the elevator button. Odd, it’s a week day; I’m on a my annual leave, but people gotta work. As I arrive, I notice that the elevator is going down. Then, moments later, it starts to go up and not stopping on earlier floors. As it’s on the floor below me, I panic. It’s still going up. I run to the stairwell. It feels like I am being chased. I even took off my flip-flops to make less noise.
    A horror story caused by a freaking comet. Didn’t even catch a glimpse of it, as the horizon was overcast. :(

  32. gilmanIII

    I saw on the internet that the Earth will be, at sometime in the near future, going through the remnants of the tail causing a “spectacular” meteorite display. Has anyone else heard or seen this rumor?

  33. Strothy2

    Scotty how about you meet up with event horizon and make an episode on current and future space exploration :D

  34. Bob Gallup

    Scott, unrelated question, how come amateur rocketeers can’t get any higher than they do?

  35. Trevor Hearne

    At least 5 people claiming ‘first’ – we don’t care!

  36. Bob dabiuld

    It’s way too low where I live, it’s so damn close to the sun and it’s dim.

  37. K B

    6800 Years. Np I’ve got time.

  38. TheDrunkenMug

    I’ve looked at it several nights now from my hometown Venlo, The Netherlands. We have a hill near my house which lacks streetlighting and no buildings or roads near the hill. So it’s perfect for observing the night skies, especially with little to no moonlight. I used an old binocular (my grandfather gave me) and I could see the comet and it’s tail perfectly !
    If any one of you is hesitating, don’t. Go and watch it ..! 😀

  39. Nandor Zsiros

    Oh yesss, just took my second set of photo series yesterday, it was awesome to see (with bino) and took nice photograph of the tail too.

  40. texaswilliam

    I’m kind of sad you don’t pronounce it “exploder” anymore, but I’ll get over it.

  41. Franko Walker

    I’m very impressed with the orbit of WISE. And the stunning animations.

  42. hostyle0

    I cant find anyone with information of how to view this in the southern hemisphere. Not possible? Does anyone know?

  43. Groetus

    Ah well too bad i wont be able to see it ;[ hopefully one day i’ll move to the northern hemisphere and maybe see eclipses or comets.

  44. Bill Dickinson

    Brilliant shot of the, during the daytime, you should definitely be proud of it! As always, a great explanation the neowise mission and satellite. Keep up the great work 👍. You’re faithful subscriber and viewer, Bill

  45. Jesper Flodmark

    As a matter of fact, I eas already planning to go out and see it at about the time I finish watching this video

  46. flagship1701e

    EXCELLENT! I was staring at the comet the other night and didn’t even know what I was looking at. Wow, bright star! It’s blurry, I’ve had one too many tokes off that joint. Thanks!!

  47. Samovar Maker

    Does anyone know if the southern hemisphere will be able to see it?

  48. Phantom Phlier


  49. random dancing jotaro

    Can’t believe a once-in-5000-year event happens and climate gives you… C L O U D S

  50. Robert Keddie

    I’ve just taken a picture of this comet, at the first attempt. But I live in central Scotland and the North sky still isn’t dark even in the middle of the night.

  51. Roreo93

    Its been insanely cloudy in Ireland ever since I heard the comet was visible. Hopefully the weather will clear up soon.

  52. -21- Mods

    You can see it really clear in northern sweden where i live!

  53. Kowboy Church

    Use night vision to look at it! It’s amazing 😍

  54. Michał Sałaban

    “Solid block of hydrogen”
    What times do I live in?

  55. firefly4f4

    I’ve tried looking for the comet in my area for the past couple of days, but it’s been too cloudy. Nothing to see :(
    I remember Hyakutake, and that one was amazing. Of course, I was living in a rural area at the time too, so no city lights to deal with.

  56. QED

    Damn Northern-Hemisphere-Centric Comets…. :)
    Won’t someone please think of us Aussies? !!!

  57. MalfunctionM1Ke

    Thanks Scott for all your informative Space knowledge. Would love to see a video about how rockets are split into stages (explosive bolts and such) someday

  58. Jan Stromback

    The downside of living close to the midnightsun… ah well, I’ll see it next time! ;-)

  59. Paul Cooper

    “Magnetorquers”. I must look that up further! Thanks again Scott for your great insights sand early morning efforts

  60. bzqp2

    Thank you Scott! Thanks to your video I just went to the roof, took some great photos of the comet with my phone, then the ISS flew over my head and I witnessed a beautiful, red moonrise!
    Thanks for the amazing evening! :D

  61. Helium Road

    Not to be confused with Pennywise, the comet that comes back every 27 years.

  62. Don Jones

    9:50 “Huddle safe.” Have satellites to identify Earth-crossing life threatening asteroids. Yes, please.

  63. Jan

    Saw it yesterday at around 24:00 in Germany, though clouds tonight so can’t see it again until the clouds disperse.

  64. Michael H.

    It is beautiful at 4:15am here in Northern Michigan.
    Better than when Haley’s was here last time.

  65. Dead Baron

    Whenever it’s been time to see it, it’s been cloudy/stormy :(

  66. Sanskare

    Hmm at first I read Meowise and expected this to be Scott Manley talking about catgirls…

  67. Alden Doble

    Anyone else notice the video start to warp at 7:31 after watching that solar system map? 😅

  68. The Catalog Collector

    Such a nice comet. Finally got to see it yesterday, after making my parents wake up at 3am to drive to a field without trees on the horizon (which ruined my previous attempts). Even in red light polluted skies, it was easy to see with the naked eye a nice tail 5 degrees or so. I don’t think my parents will drive me again in the morning, but hopefully will get another chance to see it when it moves to the evening!

    It’s not a Great Comet, but it’s pretty special. Now, the question is, when will we get another comet like West…

  69. billy rowland

    SCOTT MANLEY !!! I’m ever impressed with the astonishing amount of info you’re able to convey! Excellent videos! Keep up the good work!

  70. ConfusedNyan

    Wow, never knew Wolf 359 was a real star.

    Here’s to hoping that Starfleet doesn’t have to face the Borg.

  71. Ben Terrell

    The animation reminded me of a Yes album cover. Awesome

  72. Lewis Stockett

    I think I know what a reaction wheel is, but what is a “magna torquer”?

  73. Kevin Street

    Haven’t seen the comet yet, but I hope to see it soon.

    Thank you for the great video, Scott Manley! NEOWISE is a fascinating mission. It just amazes me how many asteroids there are, and they keep finding more!

  74. Doctor Logiq

    7:32 Agh, the image carried on spinning… I should not have stared at the previous animation for so long!

  75. • ••••

    Me & my friends just planned to head to a field to observe it tomorrow lmao. Great video.

  76. _iPhoenix_

    Welp, time to dust off my telescope :D

  77. Akagi Asuzagawa

    Trying to take a picture of the Comet using my Smartphone. So excited!

  78. Jesse Shwaga

    the worst part about working nights up north is I am surrounded by lights, everywhere.

  79. Airwhisper80

    *Cries in southern Hemisphere*

  80. Glenn edwards

    It is lucky the Borg went to Wolf 359 and not this previously unknown system!

  81. Aerik Forager

    That asteroid video is how I found your channel back in the day, still one of my favorite subscriptions. :)

  82. Cale Therault

    I live in the NorthWest US and have seen NEOWISE. I didn’t even know there was a comet coming.

  83. tcb268

    First step to avoid Earth asteroid impact: locate offending asteroid.

    Second step: call Harry Stamper.

  84. Daniel Moolman

    I will always find it amazing that we can see a small ball of ice seventy million kilometres away.

  85. Finn Rothfuchs

    Me sotting on my roof.
    Oh, a new video!
    Cool, another comet.
    Wait, you can see it?
    Ohhhh… there it is!
    Thank you Scott :)

  86. Nathan

    I just find it mind blowing how much shit is flying around up there. We are so blissfully oblivious to it all…

  87. Nathanael Newton

    I love how we’re at the point now a days where saying that a spacecraft maintains its orbit using magne-torquers and reaction wheels is just another day in space news 😅

  88. Matthew C

    Hey, my work built the telescope which is on the satellite that discovered this comet (part of NASA’s Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer). I’m at a different branch at work than the team who built it so I didn’t even know about it until they put out a work email with the news article talking about the comet this morning …hahaha

  89. thomas holland

    I’ve had cloud cover every single morning and every single night!! 10th try’s the charm?!?

  90. TheReaverOfDarkness

    9:48 Now it makes more sense every time Scott calls something an “Exploder”.

  91. Kostadin Iliev

    7:00 everything is spinning now lol

  92. Rob Murray

    There’s only a handful of YouTube channels that, as soon as I see a new video has been posted, I press “like” before watching. (I know it’s always going to be great!)

  93. Daniel Moolman

    I’m so glad I could see it. I’m glad I didn’t have to wait until Halley’s Comet returns.

  94. Kyle McMahon

    I am trying to see it but the clouds are killing me

  95. Carlos Konstanski

    I love how your rolled r makes “explorer” sound like “exploder”.

  96. zapfanzapfan

    The three most important things are: Find them early, find them early and find them early…

  97. Jody January

    Just having a scroll through the comet section

  98. jools2323

    I’m looking forward to its return.

  99. Peter The_Great

    I remember being taught that comets were once considered harbingers of doom- Neowise, you’re late- 2020 has already started.

  100. T.J. Zamboni Schwartz

    Best comet I’ve seen in 23 years. Right in time, too. I was just bitching to my mom a few weeks ago about the long drought of great comets. This scratched the itch for a great comet something fierce.

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