Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Dark Side of the Moon

Got off work at midnight after working the "swing" shift, and was walking across the parking lot to my car, when I did what I always do when leaving work at night, I looked up to see if the stars were out.

As I turned to face the west, I caught sight of what has to be the biggest, brightest, and most amazing "shooting star" that I have ever seen! The coma was enormous, and the tail went on forever!! It had to be a piece of space junk de-orbiting to be that brilliant. I could even make out the burn pattern on the coma as it whizzed by! The flames of intense heat could be seen changing as the object burnt up, giving it a flickering brilliance.

The last time that I saw anything that bright re-entering Earth's atmosphere was one of the Shuttles making a re-entry, and it wasn't nearly quite as instense and bright as this ogject was.

It would be interesting to know if it was space junk, or if it was a big hunk of rock, or maybe (conspiracy theorists pay attention)...aliens...

Nah, not likely.

Monday, April 04, 2005

Beautiful Day

It's a beautiful day!! The Sun came out, and the clouds have thinned a bit, the air is chilly, but has that peculiar early Spring warmth to it and I am feeling good. Maybe it's the weather, maybe I am overtired again (I am always overtired) maybe it's because my Sky & Telescope magazine arrived, or maybe it's just because...I don't know. But I feel good.

I am listening to the kids playing out in the courtyard of my apartment building, thinking that I must go for a wlak when I am done this. I can see the buds of the Dogwood tree starting to bud, and I can smell the Spring scents...flowers, fresh cut lawns, and clean, after rain air. There is fresh snow on the mountains, reminding me that Winter still has a few more tricks to play, but I know that Spring is rapidly moving on on Old Man Winter's scene.

Years ago, this time of the year meant getting the tractors ready to go, planning which fields the crops would go into, and waiting for the ground to dry enough to start ploughing. I really miss those days, being out in the fresh air, feeling the wind in my face; it was glorious. Now, when the hanger doors are open, and the evening Sun is shining into the building, I long to be outdoors again. It always bothers me when someone at work comlains that it's too cold, and then goes and closes the doors.

But, that isn't going to bother me tonight. Hopefully the sky will stay clear, and I will stay away from the computer long enough to get out and look at the Spring constellations and say good-bye to Orion for another year. Myabe I will be able to catch a bit of the waning crescent of the Moon before it disappears into the Sun. Probably not, I will be asleep by the time it rises tonight, so another time maybe.

Well, off for a walk in the Sunshine!

It is a beautiful day!