City Slickers

Photo above: City Slickers III. Wind River area, Wyoming. Son Matt, Brother Dave, Son John Paul, Me J.P.

Small Talk

SMALL TALK: View the story of the air rifle that doubled the size of the United States. Fantastic bit of 2nd Amendment history re: Lewis and Clark.

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Spot Gold

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Wonder of it All

M-42 (Messier Nr 42) The Great Nebula of Orion

The constellation Orion, the Hunter, is beginning to rise on the eastern horizon late in the evening. By January it will be coming up early enough for backyard viewing, but for now, about 3AM is a good time to observe. Since I know most of you are catching some well-deserved Zs about that time, I decided to image an interesting part of the constellation so you could share it early. Just below the three stars that mark the Belt of Orion, there is a fuzzy patch you can see with the naked eye called the Sword of Orion. A small telescope or a good set of binoculars will reveal a huge area of star formation, with dark and light clouds swirling in interstellar activity. With a larger telescope, like my 10“ Meade LX200, the area comes alive with detail. In the center, is a group of four stars (two with unseen small companions, for a total of 6) called the Trapezium. These bright new stars are illuminating the huge clouds of interstellar dust that are gradually coalescing into new born stars.

Imaging the visible Universe is my way of escaping the day to day follies of our political landscape. It provides a perspective that reduces the angst and increases the awe of just being alive to witness the wonder of it all. 


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