Tarmac ribbons criss-crossing the landscape, dusty back roads twisting between the cool shadows of ancient pines, and less traveled pathways connecting present to past, all I wander, seeking, seeing, with my keyboard and camera capturing scenes and stories to share with you.

Now in its fifth year, this venue has become an important part of my life, a place where I can express my thoughts and feelings about the things I see and do, hoping the process brings me a bit closer to friends and family who enjoy sharing my sometimes chaotic and often nonlinear observations and ideas. A journal, I suppose, but one with which I find pleasure in thinking others are alongside me on my journey.

August 27, 2016

CONJUNCTION

... john called ... after a quick drive down to china, maine, and then up to the top of parameter hill, we set up our cameras and his telescopes and waited ... as the sun descended towards the distant horizon i busied myself checking my equipment by snapping a panorama of where i live ...

... finally, after much prompting by john, i spotted low in the western sky what to my unaided eyes appeared to be an unusually bright star ... my ancient 300mm nikkor lens, however, resolved the truth of the scene ...

... the higher of the pair, venus, "the evening star," is currently 143,676,862 miles from earth ... how far is that—well, at 186,000 miles per second the sunlight reflecting off the cloudy upper atmosphere of venus took more then ten minutes to reach the side of the road where i was standing ... below venus in the sky is the planet jupiter, in an unusually close "conjunction" that will not repeat itself for another fifty years ... the nearness of the planets, however, is merely a visual illusion ... in truth, jupiter is currently almost 1,000,000,000 miles from the earth ... 

... how fascinating, that even as i type this, the clever little juno robot, having spent five years traveling through deep space, is successfully skimming along almost within touching distance of jupiter's mysterious clouds ... hopefully n.a.s.a. has one-hour processing, 'cause i'd sure like to see some pictures before i go to bed ...

"It is clear to everyone that astronomy at all events compels the soul to look upwards,
and draws it from the things of this world to the other."
PLATO