Neowise Over Flying Pond

September 8, 2020

Voices from the Watershed

Perspective by Kyle Schwab
Originally published in the Flying Pond Improvement Association Summer Newsletter (Vol 4)

I have been to many different places; I have seen many wild things. I have captivating stories from various different experiences. I have been to 13 US states and 3 countries. I have been on adventures both big and small. What I haven’t seen is something more beautiful than a summer night sky in Mount Vernon Maine. Someone like me who is from New Jersey doesn’t get to see stunning stars every night. To paint a picture, when I look at the sky from my back porch in NJ, I see dull, featureless scattered stars. They are so dull because of the bright lights that shut them out from major cities like New York and Philadelphia.

When I am in Maine standing on my dock out on the water on a clear night and look up, I am amazed. The stars twinkle like you wouldn’t believe; it feels as if I am closer to them then I was in Jersey. The stars seem like they have multiplied and are all clustered together making them flicker. You can see all the different constellations, and if you are lucky you can even spot passing satellites or shooting stars. This summer I had the opportunity to bring some of my college friends to our lake cabin. It is important to note that none of them have ever been to Maine before. When I took them out on the dock at night they were in awe. They couldn’t believe this is what the stars should look like when you look up at them. They were so fascinated by them that after looking up for so long their necks began to cramp.

While we were there for the week, we had the privilege to see comet Neowise. We were especially lucky to view it from Flying Pond as it was so bright and unmistakable. Comet Neowise looks like a beaming star that has a narrow tail treading behind it. The interesting thing about this comet is its orbital period is every 6,766 years. My friends were in absolute shock between the stars, shooting stars, passing satellites and comet Neowise. They felt honored to witness this all happen right above us because most people may never have the opportunity. After seeing their reactions, I began to appreciate the night sky even more because I am one of the lucky ones who is able to see the stars from Mount Vernon every summer. Unfortunately talking about the summer night sky in Maine doesn’t give it justice. You can’t capture the stars beauty in a picture or a drawing. You can only understand what I am talking about if, and only if you see it for yourself.

A Jersey Boy

Photo Credit: Josh Robbins (Banner)