A photographer was able to capture Comet NEOWISE from Washington State flying northeast over Abbotsford. Randy Small photo.

Once-in-a-lifetime comet photographed soaring over Abbotsford

Photographer Randy Small captures Comet NEOWISE in early-morning sky

A weather photographer captured Comet NEOWISE soaring across Abbotsford’s early-morning sky on July 11.

Randy Small was just north of Lynden in Washington State when he was able to photograph the comet heading northeast over the Abbotsford around 3:30 a.m.

Small, who said he had woken up a little before 3 a.m. hoping to witness the once-in-a-lifetime comet. He said he was almost next to the border when he spotted it.

“I didn’t see it at first with the naked eye, but I just shot northeast,” Small said. “As soon as I shot, my camera picked it up.”

The comet, formally known as C/2020 F3 (NEOWISE), was discovered this year on March 27 by the NEOWISE Space Telescope.

Comet NEOWISE is a retrograde comet, meaning it orbits around our solar system in the opposite direction of the rotational axis of the Sun and planets.

NASA says the comet is about five kilometres across, and its tail is caused by its very close orbit around the Sun, heating its outer-ice layers and releasing gas and dust in a tail of debris.

Comet NEOWISE is expected to remain visible to eyesight throughout July, and orbit closest to Earth on July 23 at a distance of 103 million kilometres away, according to NASA.

Small – a part-time landscape and weather photographer, and part-time storm-chasing news stringer – said he’s frequently up at dawn and dusk hours.

“I’ve shot probably 80 per cent of the sunrises and sunsets [since 2016]” he said. “I’m willing to get up early, or get up at midnight and do crazy stuff if something special like this is happening.”

Randy Small photo.

RELATED: B.C. man captures moment comet smashes into super blood wolf moon

abbotsford

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New video takes viewers soaring over Cultus Lake

Posted to YouTube, the vid showcases the natural beauty of the lake and its surroundings

Chilliwack Community Services ends Community Driver program

The volunteer-driven offering helped clients get to important medical appointments

CRIME STOPPERS: ‘Most wanted’ for the week of Sept. 27

Crime Stoppers’ weekly list based on information provided by police investigators

Action demanded over death of First Nations youth in Abbotsford group home

Family and Indigenous organizations push for thorough investigation

Expanded COVID-19 testing and collection centre opening at UFV

New Abbotsford service location will now conduct as many as 500 tests daily

105 new COVID-19 cases, 1 death as health officials urge B.C. to remember safety protocols

There are currently 1268 active cases, with 3,337 people under public health monitoring

U.S. Presidential Debate Takeaways: An acrid tone from the opening minute

Here are key takeaways from the first of three scheduled presidential debates before Election Day on Nov. 3

Another death as COVID-19 outbreak at Delta Hospital climbs to 18 cases

Total of 12 patients and six staff in one unit have tested positive for COVID-19: Fraser Health

B.C. nurses report rise in depression, anxiety, exhaustion due to pandemic

A new UBC study looks into how the COVID-19 response has impacted frontline nurses

National child-care plan could help Canada rebound from COVID-induced economic crisis: prof

A $2 billion investment this year could help parents during second wave of pandemic

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Search suspended for Indigenous elder last seen mushroom picking in northwest B.C.

Mushroom picker Thomas (Tommy) Dennis has been missing since Sept. 16

16 MLAs retiring from B.C. politics add up to $20M in pensions: Taxpayers Federation

Taxpayers pay $4 for every dollar MLAs contribute to their pensions

Most Read