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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Dark Skies

I was able to spend some time far from city lights in August, and the weather cooperated long enough to get some night sky shots. These were taken over the course of two nights. In these shots, you can see the streak of the plane of our own galaxy, the milky-way.

In this next shot, you can see the apparent paths the stars take around the north pole of our planet as it spins around in space. The northern star (Polaris) is just off camera to the top right. If you could see it in this shot, you would see why it is such an important star. It barely "moves" over the course of the night, making it useful for navigation.

There is nothing like these kind of views to make you feel small. Each little light in the sky could light someone else's day. For some interesting reading, check this link out. Carl Sagan is one of my heroes, and I miss him. This is obviously an old video, but it is still quite thought provoking. Bear in mind that he is talking only about our galaxy. And consider that the Hubble telescope (which wasn't around when this video was made) is able to see hundreds of billions of galaxies in the night sky. How does considering all the galaxies in the observable universe make you feel? Put aside the notion of communication. It seems to me that it is inconceivable that intelligent life, other than our own, is not out there. We just may never have a conversation with each-other. Or perhaps we will! OR HAVE!!!???

But we are just barely making steps out into our own cosmic neighborhood. So if we have a conversation with anyone else in my lifetime, the other end of the line is surely far more advanced than we are now. Personally that assures me a little bit. If they have advanced that far, chances are they are not murderous galactic carnivores bent on eating my brain.

This photo is of one of our own planets. Jupiter in his distant glory.

UPDATE: An acquaintance of mine researches UFOs around the world, and just posted this entry in his blog. Right here in Winnipeg! I don't know what "it" was, and he doesn't yet either, but I thought it was a little bit of synchronicity. Maybe someone knows for sure what this thing was? Post a comment over at his blog if you have some sort of first hand knowledge that can help shed some light on this mysterious black triangle.


  1. Beautiful! How late did you have to stay up to get these?

  2. It was just me and the black bears at 2 am.


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