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PHOTOS: Comet NEOWISE spotted over Lake Bemidji

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Comet NEOWISE cuts through the sky around 11:40 p.m. on July 18, over Diamond Point Park. (Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer)
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BEMIDJI -- With opportunity dwindling to get out and photograph Comet NEOWISE -- as it is apparently the last time it will be visible for 6,800 years -- I went down to Diamond Point Park on Saturday night to see if I could catch a glimpse for myself.

My ever-willing adventure buddy -- also known as my husband Nathan -- came along for the ride. We live just a few blocks from Lake Bemidji, so figured somewhere along the shore would be a good place to try and get some interesting photos without anything obstructing our view.

The comet is more visible in photos than with the naked eye, but with the help of a stargazing app I have on my phone helping us know the general vicinity to be looking, we were able to find it in no time.

I've seen it described as a "fuzzy star with a bit of a tail trailing behind it," which is a very accurate description. It wasn't until I took the first exposure that we were able to see it in its full beauty.

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Comet NEOWISE cuts through the sky around 11:30 p.m. on July 18, over Diamond Point Park. (Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer)

We got to the park around 10:40 p.m. and stayed until a little after midnight. In addition to getting some great views of the comet we also saw a few shooting stars and some lightning flashes on the other side of the lake as a storm passed.

If you don't mind having a bit of a late night sometime over the next week, find an adventure buddy and go check out the comet for yourself.

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Comet NEOWISE cuts through the sky around 11:55 p.m. on July 18 over Lake Bemidji as seen from Diamond Point Park. (Annalise Braught / Bemidji Pioneer)

Here are some tips from NASA for viewing Comet NEOWISE:

  • Find a spot away from city lights with an unobstructed view of the sky

  • Just after sunset, look below the Big Dipper in the northwest sky

  • If you have them, bring binoculars or a small telescope to get the best views of this dazzling display

Each night, the comet will continue rising increasingly higher above the northwestern horizon.
Annalise Braught is the Managing Editor at the Bemidji Pioneer.

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Related Topics: SCIENCE AND NATURE
Annalise is the editor and a photographer at the Bemidji Pioneer. She is a Mass Communication graduate from Bemidji State University. Her favorite pastime is exploring the great outdoors and capturing its natural beauty on camera. Contact Annalise at (218) 333-9796, (218) 358-1990 or abraught@bemidjipioneer.com.
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