June 27, 2005

So Who's Been Following This?

Any astronomers out there?

My family and I watched the comets falling years ago...it was cool, standing outside in the dark of the night with people you didn't know, all pushed into silence of wonder at G-d's sky-show.

Truthfully, though I'll make a point of trying to find the planets and point out the event to my children, I don't find the sight of the three planets converging as exciting as examining the close up images that one can link to through the site, and reading about all the doings of the planets in our solar system. And the mysteries there in, the puzzles still waiting a solution; what is happening to Mercury? Are the lobate scraps indicative of the shrinkage of Mercury? What will it look like in a million years? What is that bright cloud on Titan's surface?

I love the names given to some of the pictures (and to the different physical structures as well): Rhea's Memory, Pandora's Flock. Very poetic. I guess astronomers must be romantics at heart.

What a glorious way to start a morning, with these imgaes bouncing in my head.

Posted by Rachel Ann at June 27, 2005 05:39 AM

I'm not an astronomer, just an amateur stargazer.

To clarify: Comets don't fall. They orbit around the sun. If it looks like it's falling, it's a meteorite ("shooting star"). Some stories from meteor showers are here and here.

If you want to make it more interesting, bring a good pair of binoculars. (Warning: It can be hard to hold them steady enough to observe planets.) You might be able to make out the rings of Saturn, and you should certainly be able to see the shape of the discs, as opposed to the stars which are points.


Posted by: Zman Biur at June 27, 2005 11:14 AM
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