Our Wonderful World….and Beyond

Good Wednesday to you all, otherwise known as Hump Day. Well, it used to be anyway when we were living in a ‘normal’ world. These days, I am not so sure. Nothing seems to be familiar most days.

Enough of that talk! Today I am waiting for my Stampin’ Up! shipment so I can make more cards. Huh? Don’t you already have stamp sets, and dies, and paper? Well, yes, I do, but it is so much fun working with the NEW stuff! I probably have enough of all the above to last into the next century, but any excuse will do when you really aren’t in the mood to clean up the mess from the last card so you can get to work on new ones.

I suppose you have all heard about the comet that is causing such an uproar in the stargazing world. It isn’t often that we get to see a comet with the naked eye, and have multiple opportunities to photograph it. This was my first attempt at photographing the comet one night last week.

With all the political chatter on television, and the Covid19 talk, I am sick to death of tv, so just don’t turn it on. I think it has been 2 weeks since I even turned it on, and it was only on about 10 minutes before I couldn’t stand it any more. So much negativity. So much BAD news. Personally, I see the world through a different lens than those tv people.

BUT, having said all that, I was tuned in enough to hear about the comet. NEOWISE. A weird name for a comet, eh? Well, it is named for the space telescope that discovered in on March 27, the Near Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer. It was named Comet C/2020 F3 NEOWISE on April 1, and became visible to the naked eye in the very early mornings on July 3. I didn’t know about it then.

This was my second attempt, taken above a cornfield in Minnesota.

If you can get away from light pollution, do get outside and find the Big Dipper. This constellation can be found in the northwest sky as soon after sunset as you can see the stars. Say 45 minutes to an hour after sunset. Almost straight down from the lip of the dipper you will be able to see the comet with the naked eye. Yep, naked eye. Probably this will be your only opportunity in this lifetime to see a comet without a telescope. This particular comet won’t come around again for about 6,800 years, and I don’t plan to be here then. Do you?

Experts say it will be visible all night, and probably through the end of July. However, it is receding from the sun so is dimming slightly. Also, the crescent moon will also reappear this week, and with a brighter light from the moon, the comet will be harder to see. Tonight it will pass closest to Earth, some 64 millions miles away.

If you have binoculars, you can get an even better look at this celestial phenomenon. We are fortunate here in the northern hemisphere to be able to see NEOWISE. The last comet, Comet McNaught, in 2007, was pretty much only visible in the southern hemisphere. Hale-Bopp was visible to the naked eye in 1997. So, only 3 comets in 23 years have been visible to the naked eye, and this one is pretty amazing.

This image is better. You can see the lake in the foreground and the cup part of the Big Dipper. There were clouds so the comet was fading in and out.

But I like this one even better as it shows the Big dipper. I used a wide angle lens for both of these. The first two images were taken with a telephoto lens. Both of these images were taken at Sulem Lake in Minnesota.

On the way back to my daughter’s house after leaving the lake, we stopped for a different view. You can see a tower and the tops of some well lighted grain bins above a cornfield in this one.

Tonight the Neo I hope to get some even better images. Practice helps, you know. Night shooting is different in MANY ways from daylight, not the least difference of which is that you can’t see what you are doing.

I don’t claim to be the world’s greatest photographer, or even in the top 10,000 or so, but I do enjoy getting out there and trying. It is especially gratifying to be able to capture this ‘once in a lifetime’ event.

So, don’t miss it. Even if you seldom pay attention to the skies at night, this is one time that you should find a clear night, get away from light pollution, and look to the northwest. Incredible! You will be glad you did.



10 thoughts on “Our Wonderful World….and Beyond”

  1. Thanks for posting these pictures, Julie. I haven’t been watching tv either and have been forgetting to go outside to look at the sky. I don’t have a very clear view anyway, but I do mean to try!


    1. Faith, you need to try to see this. It isn’t very high above the horizon, so if there are tall buildings or trees it might be hard to see. But, do try. Thanks for stopping by.


  2. Julie, these are fabulous pictures! So happy you were able to make these and thanks for sharing them with us. We’ve been cloudy the last few nights but I’ll keep watching for it. TFS.


  3. Wow, you are top photographer in my book! These are awesome and I almost missed them because Yahoo put your email in the spam folder. What is wrong with them anyway?!! Fortunately, I saw your name before I pushed the “delete all” button. My son and I only watch Food Network, HGTV and ME TV. The news and game shows no longer appeal to us. Cable for us is a waste but we keep it just in case. When we were in NC for the month of May, the TV was never on…saved the landlord on the electric bill! Have a great day.


    1. Morning Karen. Well, I don’t understand the reasons Yahoo, Facebook and others do what they do. Glad you caught it before you deleted me! TV is way overrated. I only keep my Dish subscription ‘in case’, and for football. Beyond that, I pretty much only watch the weather. I got pretty tired of HGTV shows that show selfish 30somethings who want the latest and greatest kitchen, and they don’t even cook, when the kitchen in the house they are looking at is plenty OK. And the do-over shows that cost a mint. I used to like it when they did ‘Design on a Dime’ and shows that common folk like me could afford. Oh, well, I am glad I can read! I prefer to be outside, but the heat, humidity and gnats are keeping me inside pretty much these days.


  4. Thank you so much for sharing these photos Julie. They are gorgeous. It’s all the photographer behind the lens 😉 My husband has been upset that he hasn’t been able to see it because of all the light pollution here. He keeps trying though.


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