Planets orbit, the Big Dipper dips, and out of the unknown, Neowise.

Imagine the unexpected thrill that the astronomer who first spotted the unidentified fast-passing comet must have felt. Mathematicians, mystics, and even magicians must be mesmerized. Children and artists can revel while scientists try to unravel this divine phenomenon. In the meantime, photographers polish their lenses to reveal a better view.

From my front-row seat atop Lover’s Leap, I peered through my camera at a grand sweep of the vastness of our universe, the comet a faint fizz in the starlit darkness of that magical night.

Neowise 1 - John Stephen Hockensmith
Neowise 3 - John Stephen Hockensmith
Neowise 2 - John Stephen Hockensmith

Space – unfathomable, impossible to comprehend – but it will make a good story to tell my grandchildren: “Perhaps it was a guppy that slipped out of the big dipper. I believe his name was Neowise. They say he flips and swims in a big circle in that big ocean above, and it takes him nearly seven thousand years. Why? Heaven only knows.”

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