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Man surprises his girlfriend by proposing under a comet that's only seen every 6,800 years

Space fan boy John Nicotera planned an impromptu proposal for his girlfriend Erica Pendrak when he realized the comet Neowise would soon be visible from Earth.

Image Source: tleach18 / Instagram
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John Nicotera wanted to propose to his girlfriend Erica Pendrak in a way she would never forget. Originally, he planned to propose to her at Crater Lake National Park on their couple's trip to Oregon. However, due to the ongoing public health crisis, those plans got trashed. As a huge space nerd, John is always reading about current events. That's when he found out the comet Neowise would soon be visible from their location. Thinking on his feet, the young man planned an executed the perfect impromptu proposal under the comet, totally surprising his girlfriend and making her entire night.

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"I had purchased the trip for her Christmas present," he said in an interview. "Upon scheduling the trip I had planned on proposing to her at Crater Lake National Park, so the idea of a proposal has been sitting in my mind for six to eight months. I wanted to create a special proposal for her, that we could share together, and my idea for the comet just came to me one day. I’m always reading about current events/sightings and all things outer space-related. Erica has watched countless SpaceX rocket launches with me. So my hopes were when I asked Erica, she would just see this as nothing out of the ordinary."

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With just five days to go for the comet to be seen, John had to plan quickly. He got his photographer friend Tim Leach involved and timed everything to the second so the moment would be perfect. The spot he found to watch the comet was in Old Forge in New York on July 18. Erica would think they were just out watching comets. Describing the unforgettable moment, he shared, "Each photo was taken with a seven to 10 second exposure time. Erica and I just smiled at each other, still as could be. When looking into each other’s eyes I knew what I was about to do, but I was also going back and reliving all our moments together, the lives we had created together, and I have never felt so happy in my life. Staring into the heart and soul of someone so special to me, still as could be, no sounds, nothing. Just completely mesmerized by the moment we were experiencing at the time, but also what was about to come."

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"My mind was nowhere else but in that exact moment," he continued. "I was in a state of complete euphoria, knowing how in love I was, and how perfect that moment and the entire night was. It was the greatest moment of my life, and it came together like a dream come true. To the time Erica and I spent together with each picture, to Tim capturing the moment perfectly, with that picture, Erica and I will be able to relive that moment we had, and cherish it the rest of our lives. Words can’t express how happy I am to be engaged now, and how grateful I am to Tim for capturing everything so perfectly." When John finally popped the question, she had absolutely no idea: "Erica was completely blown away, she had absolutely no idea it was coming at that time. She was in total disbelief, as was I (that it worked out so perfectly as I had hoped). I still can’t believe how everything came together so perfectly, it literally has been a dream come true." The shots of their proposal have since gone viral across the internet.

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