Tag Archives: Astronomy

Encumbered not, poetic thought by George-B (The smudge and other poems


Encumbered not, poetic thought by George-B  (The smudge and other poems)

Unnoticed, silence breathed its way in:

can you watch now the growing grass,
the snowflakes parachutes landing and,
dust settling on top of dusty old, furniture tops?

almost instantaneously
night had moved over everything:

can you see now the shadows,
and the listless moon in owe,
eyeing the blue, as if…its dust,
were not to remain undisturbed
eons ahead,
except for a few boot prints…
cold of course, and odorless, and sterile…
encumbered not…

Photo: Earth and moon seen from space shuttle

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this day in history: Pioneer 10 – First Craft to Leave Solar System, Perhaps (1983)


Pioneer 10: First Craft to Leave Solar System, Perhaps (1983)

Launched in 1972, Pioneer 10 was the first spacecraft to travel through the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter and to make up-close observations of Jupiter, capturing images that were later sent back to Earth. It passed the orbit of Neptune in 1983 and became by some definitions the first artificial object to leave our solar system. By February 1998, the probe was over 7.5 billion miles from Earth but lost its title as the most distant man-made object to what craft? More… Discuss

QUOTATION: Jack London


I would rather be a superb meteor, every atom of me in magnificent glow, than a sleepy and permanent planet.

Jack London (1876-1916) Discuss

 

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ARTICLE: MESSIER OBJECTS


Messier Objects

In 1784, French astronomer Charles Messier compiled a list of non-stellar celestial objects. He had no understanding of what these items—now known to be galaxies, nebulae, and star clusters—actually were; he just wanted to further the search for comets by listing the indistinct objects that might be mistaken for them. Designations from his catalog are still used to refer to some nebulae and star clusters—for instance, M1 is the Crab Nebula and M45 is the Pleiades. What is a “Messier Marathon“? More… Discuss

 

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ARTICLE: ASTRONOMICAL TRANSIT


Astronomical Transit

An astronomical transit is the passage of a celestial body or satellite across the face of a relatively larger body. Transits are not the same thing as the familiar solar or lunar eclipse. In an eclipse, a large celestial body hides a major part of a smaller body. In an astronomical transit, a small body crosses in front of a larger one. An astronomical transit can involve two planets, but this has not been observed on Earth since 1818. When will the next planetary transit be visible from Earth? More… Discuss

 

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Song to the Moon – Antonín Dvořák



See lyrics translated into English below.

Soprano Renee Fleming sings this aria. Dvorak’s composition relies upon expansive arpeggiated chords to capture the fairy tale ambiance of Rusalka. The amicable old Spirit of the Lake, Jezibab, is enjoying the singing of the Wood Nymphs, when his daughter, Rusalka, sadly approaches him. She admits that she has fallen in love with a handsome prince. Yearning to know the bliss of union with him, she wishes to become human. Deeply saddened, the Spirit of the Lake consents to her request, and leaves. All alone, Rusalka sings this magnificent aria and shares the secrets of her longing to the moon.

Featuring the paintings and artwork of William Bouguereau, Paul Cezanne, Claude Monet, J.W. Waterhouse, Armand Guillaumin, and Spadecaller.

Lyrics (translation)

Silver moon upon the deep dark sky,
Through the vast night pierce your rays.
This sleeping world you wander by,
Smiling on man’s homes and ways.
Oh moon ere past you glide, tell me,
Tell me, oh where does my loved one bide?
Oh moon ere past you glide, tell me
Tell me, oh where does my loved one bide?
Tell him, oh tell him, my silver moon,
Mine are the arms that shall hold him,
That between waking and sleeping he may
Think of the love that enfolds him,
May between waking and sleeping
Think of the love that enfolds him.
Light his path far away, light his path,
Tell him, oh tell him who does for him stay!
Human soul, should it dream of me, Let my memory wakened be.
Moon, moon, oh do not wane, do not wane,
Moon, oh moon, do not wane….

 

THE MOON RABBIT


The Moon Rabbit

While the Man in the Moon is a popular European myth, many other cultures tell the tale of the Moon Rabbit, whose contours they trace on the orb’s surface. In East Asian folklore, the Moon Rabbit mixes the elixir of immortality. In Aztec legends, the god Quetzalcoatl elevated a rabbit to the Moon as a show of gratitude after the rabbit offered himself up as food. Native Americans tell of a rabbit riding the Moon. Who famously agreed in 1969 to look out for the Chinesebunny girl” on the Moon? More… Discuss