Jim Montanus' NEOWISE (Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer )

By: Jim Montanus

Volume 15, Issue 8, August 2020

This will probably be my last shot of Comet NEOWISE for oh, about 6800 years :-) And it might be my personal favorite of the shots that I got in the 1000 Islands. What an absolute thrill this has been to capture these shots over the past week.

While this shot still shows Boldt Castle (smaller and on the right side of the frame), it's pulled back quite a bit to show more of the St. Lawrence River. Shot from Scenic View Park in Alexandria Bay, I like the colorful reflections on the river.

[Jim Montanus Photography ©2020]

It's so amazing to me that this comet was only discovered on March 27 of this year by NASA’s Near-Earth Object Wide-field Infrared Survey Explorer (NEOWISE) mission, Comet NEOWISE has been putting on a dazzling display for sky watchers before it disappears into deep space, not to be seen again for another 6,800 years.

It comes from somewhere in the icy deep freeze beyond Neptune, and it will take 6,800 years to orbit the Sun.

According to my favorite astrophysicist, Alex Filippenko, "Way out beyond Neptune, there's a reservoir of balls of ice, left over from the formation of our solar system. Occasionally, a star will come by and nudge the cloud a little bit, and some of the comets out there will start coming towards us.

NEOWISE has a bright, curved, trail of illuminated dust, and a second, less visible, trail of ions streaming directly away from the sun.

As the comet comes in, the sunlight starts evaporating the ice and lets loose little chunks of dirt, dust and rocks. There's no atmosphere up there, so the ice goes straight from solid to gas. When you decrease the pressure, it's easier for things to evaporate, in the same way that at the top of a mountain here on Earth water boils at a lower temperature.

The dust then gets pushed away by a stream of charged particles coming from the sun called solar wind. That dust reflects the sunlight and that's the curved tail we see."

I wonder what Mr. Boldt would have thought about this celestial object soaring over his castle. "Comet NEOWISE over Boldt Castle at Alexandria Bay, 1000 Islands." Taken from Riveredge Resort, Friday night, 7-17-20. Nikon D850, ISO 800, 10 second exposure. Nikkor 24-70mm lens shot at F2.8 [Jim Montanus, Montanus Photography ©2020]

Montanus Photography
Montanus Photography 

More Jim Montanus Thoughts and Photographs.

"There is one bad thing about the 1000 Islands."

And that is leaving the 1000 Islands. There is something so magical about being on the St. Lawrence Seaway that I can't really describe in words. And that's because it's more of a feeling or an emotion of being out on the mighty river. I may be back in Rochester, but in my mind, I'm still there. My therapy is dreaming about ,and planning, my next trip, which is what I'm doing right now.

It's the swift current of deep blue, incredibly clear water. It's the geologic beauty of the rocky islands of the ancient Canadian Shield rock formations. It is the beautiful Victorian architecture of the turn-of-the-century vacation homes. It's the lighthouses, the gargantuan cargo ships, Eel bay, Potter's beach, Lake of the Isles, and the American Narrows.

It's Boldt Castle, Singer Castle, the Osprey's, Blue Herons, Ducks. It's River Rat Cheese. Little River Maple Fudge, and the Musky Meal Breakfast at Koffee Kove.

It's the sunsets, the storms and clouds, and the faint sound of the first fishing boat heading out at the crack of dawn. And most importantly, spending a blissful week in the islands with Danielle celebrating our first anniversary.

I have to stop writing now because I'm getting too wistful. Until next time... Jim Montanus | Owner, Montanus Photography, LLC

Editor's Note

COVID-19 keeps getting worse and the repercussions are terrible, but somehow seeing beautiful photographs can make us smile. This month, Jim Montanus made hundreds of us who are members of the Facebook page, 1000 Islands River Rats Now and Then smile, for sure.

A couple of emails and messages and Jim sent me more smiles, along with his FB statements - one that received over 140 comments.

We featured Jim and his father, Neil Montanus in TI Life November 2016, and we learned that his father died in September 2019. The New York Times obituary describes his life, his work and most of all the impact he had on photography and capturing society of the day. Neil Montanus deserved to be a proud father, for his son's talents are equally appreciated.

[Jim Montanus, Montanus Photography ©2020]

By Jim Montanus

Jim Montanus was born in Rochester New York in 1961 and grew up in northwest Greece, New York and attended the Hilton School District, graduating in 1979.
As the son of legendary Kodak photographer Neil Montanus, he has been around photography his entire life. But it wasn't until his college years that he became intensely interested in photography but he pursued a corporate career for 17 years until 2013 when  being "laid off" pushed him into his new venture.  By 2015, after thousands of photographs , taken in spring, summer, fall and winter, he opened a gallery in Rochester in 2015 which highlighted his father's work as well as his own. Today that Gallery is closed, but Jim has a new studio, with no walls but transportation, cameras and exceptional talent. Once the world opens again we will look forward to the hundreds of scenes he captures and shares.
Jim has been voted 'Rochester's Best Photographer' in City Newspaper's annual reader's poll for five years in a row.
See www.montanusphotography.com | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | In the News

Posted in: Volume 15, Issue 8, August 2020, photo, Photography

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