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Comet Neowise over the Netherlands – How to photograph Neowise

These days the comet Neowise is very visible in the northern Hemisphere. You can find it after sunset, low on the horizon in the north-west or later at night (around 3 o'clock) in the north-eastern sky. It is easy to see with the naked eye, even the beautiful tail!


C / 2020 F3 (NEOWISE), or Comet NEOWISE, is a retrograde comet with an almost parabolic orbit discovered by the NEOWISE space telescope on 27 March 2020. Until 21 July, visibility will increase as it is closest to Earth, so go out and see this unique comet!

Where to look?

Look for a relatively dark place, away from the light pollution and look north-east (between 0200 and 0400 hours). You should look about a fist thickness above the horizon. See below for a clearer explanation.

Where to find Comet Neowise?

The comet NEOWISE is above the horizon all day long, but is of course only visible after sunset. The next week it will increase in brightness and can be seen with the naked eye. Look for a dark spot, away from the light pollution.

You can find the comet at the bottom right of the big bear. Around 23:00 it is in the northwest and by sunrise at 5:00 it is in the north-east. The altitude in relation to the horizon increases towards the morning so the ideal time to see it is around 3 o’clock at night.

waar kun je neowise vinden

On the image above you can find the Big Bear (the saucepan) on the right. If you look down from there to the right, you’ll see the comet Neowise pretty fast.

Through this link you can see by date and time where you can find the comet if you look at the starry sky in the Netherlands. You can easily change the location to your own location via the menu.


How to photograph NEOWISE?

Camera settings and gear.

Photographing the comet is not that difficult. Partly because of the brightness you don’t need a really bright lens. Almost all of my photos were taken at f/5.6. The lens you need depends very much on what kind of image you have in mind. Roughly everything between 40 and 200mm is sufficient. If you want a real close-up, you can go to 400mm.

Furthermore, it is of course important to use a good and sturdy tripod to counteract vibrations.

Camera institutions:

  • Use the M mode
  • Focus manually via live-view
  • ISO 320
  • 5 seconds
  • F/5.6 (to get the foreground in focus as well)

These were my settings for the photos between 100 and 300 mm.
If you go wider, say 40mm, you can lower the ISO and increase the shutter speed.

A beautiful combination of “Night clouds” (NLC – Noctilucent clouds) and the comet NEOWISE above the windmills of the Zaanse Schans.

Komeet Neowise boven Nederland


ISO 4000
5 sec

Close-up of comet Neowise

Author Martijn.Kort

Fine art photographer focusing on architecture and cityscapes as well as capturing unique moments from the cockpit. Writing about photography techniques and sharing reviews. Ambassador for both ZEISS Netherlands and Nisi Filters. If you like my work, consider following me on Instagram!

More posts by Martijn.Kort

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