Friday, March 2, 2012

Take a Deep Breath


Photo found on Our Beautiful World and Universe

The arc of the southern Milky Way shone brightly on this starry night. Captured on May 4, in the foreground of this gorgeous skyview is the rainforest near the spectacular Iguaçu Falls and national park at the border of Brazil and Argentina. Looking skyward along the Milky Way's arc from the left are Alpha and Beta Centauri, the Coalsack, the Southern Cross, and the Carina Nebula. Sirius, brightest star in planet Earth's night sky is at the far right. Brilliant Canopus, second brightest star in the night, and our neighboring galaxies the Large and Small Magellanic clouds, are also included in the scene Much closer to home, lights near the center along the horizon are from Argentina's Iguazú Falls International Airport.

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The moon and Venus, taken with my iPhone on February 25, 2012.

“I have loved the stars too fondly to be fearful of the night.” ― Galileo Galilei

I have been in awe of the night sky since I was a little girl. I never had a urge to be an astronaut-- I like my feet firmly planted on the ground-- but to look at the sky through the lens of a telescope and imagine the vastness beyond our planet... that takes my breath away. I do not have a mind for math and science, but if I did I imagine I would have chosen a career studying the stars.

I am over committed this month and on a tighter deadline than I would like following a month of illness (mine, the babies, the babysitter). I am somewhat overwhelmed at the moment, but I will find my way through the darkness. When it all gets to be too much and the responsibilities and deadlines and demands-- and life in general-- feel like too much, I ind myself seeking out the night sky. Late at night when the world is asleep, I will go outside just as I have done since I was a little girl and stare up into that dark void filled with pinpricks of light. Looking for shooting stars, making wishes, watching the moonrise... it soothes me. I take a deep breath and let it out slowly... and send my worries out into the universe.

I have forgotten much of the astronomy I learned when I was younger, but I can still pick out Venus and the Big Dipper and a few other constellations and that comforts me. The stars never change, even as my life seems to be rushing by at a crazy pace. The stars are always there. Constants. Beacons in the night.

3 comments:

  1. Sorry to hear about all the sickness in the family. That's rough when you have babies.

    I take great comfort in looking at the stars too. I like that someone on the other side of the planet could have been looking at them only twelve hours earlier, or even 4000 years ago. It feels like connection.

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  2. Hi, Kristina,

    I've always loved stargazing too. I remember getting my astronomy badge in Girl Scouts. I can still recognize many of the constellations.

    I did want to be an astronaut when I was a kid, until the realities of my vision and other physical problems made it clear that wasn't an option.

    Thanks for a beautiful post.

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  3. When I was in school I always thought I wanted to be an astronomer but the math stopped me. Many areas of science are a kind of priesthood where you have to speak the language of God - mathematics - in order to enter. But I do love the stars too.

    Watch your health.

    Garce

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