happy new year from the night sky

Take a break from the current zeitgeist, if you will, and see some of what can be seen in January 2014 night sky.  Also, given that the moon is just coming out of being dark (total conjunction with the sun), the Milky Way overhead is about as bright as I’ve ever seen it, and as inspirational as it can be.

Orion, one of my favorite winter constellations, is just to the east and a bit south of the Pleiades.  Jupiter just rose over the La Plata Peaks to the northeast of us (about 5:45 pm, MST), and soon Castor and Pollux (the Gemini Twins) will show themselves.

The Hubble Space Telescope astronomers have assembled a  portrait of its deepest ever view of the Universe. This new “eXtreme Deep Field” (XDF) was assembled by combining ten years worth of Hubble Space Telescope observations -taken of a patch of sky within the original Hubble Ultra Deep Field. The entire XDF view is only a small fraction of the angular diameter of the full moon.

Imagine that on this New Year’s eve, or even tomorrow, you were able to swing a leg over the waxing crescent moon, lean back, and see the earth from there…

Sung by Nanci Griffith – written by Julie Gold – featuring pages from Jane Ray’s beautifully illustrated book:

The night sky can offer some magnificent perspective to our every day human life hope, fears, and our self-referencing perceptions of Life, can’t it?  Surely we can help to create a better world in 2014.

16 responses to “happy new year from the night sky

  1. what’s your take on ‘the visitors’, bruce? not part of the quadrantids, i reckon?

    serena ryder sang the song well, eh? enthusiasm bubbling beneath; i liked it well. :)

  2. Interesting guest yesterday, WPR (show hosts ask the obvious), The End Of Night,” written by Paul Bogland.

    http://www.wpr.org/end-night (cross posted at the other mother-ship, too)

    No true night darkness east of the Mississippi anymore. The effects on human health and well-being are discussed.

    Thanks wendyedavis.

  3. interesting question. no true dark east of the mississippi is a depressing fact, isn’t it? just think if all the lights had shades on top, and neon were…outlawed? or had limits on its use.

    i’ll try to listen; (it’s only twenty minutes, wendydavis) lynn stewart was let out of prison finally on ‘compassionate’ leave (maybe has 18 months to live, and they rescued the folks stuck in the antarctic ice bye. helicopter.

    welcome, nonquixote. thanks, as ever, for coming here. :)

    oh, and there has been some research into the negative effects on not getting enough sunlight through one’s pupils, at least according to the ‘health and light’ book i read some time ago.

  4. You can see the night sky quite well in North Korea. and much of Africa. and probably much of the third world.

    One of the great PR jobs, is the one done on UFO. You can’t even mention it. That is in North America only.

    Not so in Europe, where governments have had high level reports done. France, and Belgium for instance.

    There can’t be interstellar travel, cause we can’t do it.

    number of genes in rice…

    “Total loci 55,986″

    humans…”we have analyzed the human genome sequence, we know that there are about 21,000 genes.”

  5. -38 C right now

  6. brrrr-d-brrrrr, mark. haven’t lived with that sort of cold but once, and we got da hell away from it.
    could you explain the rice vs. human genes numbers?

    and this is a page about congressional inquiries into ufo’s.

    the maps made with global views from space and concentrations of electric light are just insane.

    give me darkness, darkness.

  7. I think it’s interesting, that rice is more complicated than homo sapiens, as far as number of genes goes. We think we’re the best. we aren’t.

    Except now they have to revise the thinking, cause obviously number of genes can no longer be considered very important.

    I saw a program about plants.

    One that’s lived for over forty thousand years. some plants that sense sound. plants that can live for five years without water.


  8. yes, we believe we are the pinnacle of evolution. guess i’d never considered genome numbers, complexity, as ‘superior’, but then i wouldn’t have had a clue that one variety of rice could have that many.

    but having imagined humans as the top of the food chain, it’s clear that ‘we’ve’ made sure that our dominion over every life form is total. oopsie, except for the mutated viruses and bacteria that may soon kill many of us, now that there are so many that are resistant to all antibiotics. (fortunately, there are colloidal silver and helpful grapefruit and oregano extracts.)

  9. trip through the solar system hosted by Jimi

    The stars up above that play with laughing sam’s dice

    They make us feel the world was made for us
    The zodiac glass that gleams come through the skies
    It will happen soon, for you
    And away we go
    Thank you very much for coming
    Thank you very much

    And now we would like to bring to you our one and only friendly neighbourhood experience maker
    Right now listen
    Thank you very much
    The milky way express is loaded, all aboard

    I promise each and every one of you you won’t be bored
    Now this pastime gets everybody honest and straight
    What I’m really singing about
    Is my grandmas pair of butterfly roller skates

    Thank you, thank you
    Now watch the ride
    Uh, I meant to say that there’ll be no throwing cigarette butts out the window
    No throwing cigarette butts out the window, thank you

    I hope all of you brought your toothbrush
    Now to the right you will see Saturn
    Outta sight, really outta sight

    And if you look to the left you’ll see Mars
    Yeah, OK. Yeah, OK.
    I hope your brought your parachute with you
    Hey! Hey, look out! Look out for that door!
    Don’t open that door!
    Don’t open that door!

    (Ah, man!)
    That’s the way it goes
    And now we’re coming through the Milky Way section, yeah

    Bring your cornflakes and stuff like that, Milky Way
    Yeah, everything is all right, outta sight
    If you look around you, you will see a few minds being blown
    It’s happening, it’s happening
    I hope you enjoy your ride; I am!

  10. and that’s what made folks figure that jimi was…from another universe, wasn’t it? thank you, mark; it was worth the brain seizure. :)

  11. BC (Back to Crappy); unfortunately, from the night tide:

  12. that’s very grim news, if not unexpected, bruce. those maps that er…washingtonsblog had put up said the particles were on the way a couple months ago, iirc. the maps are somewhere in one of the open menus. so…it may not be climate change that causes the first major human die offs, eh?

  13. Thanks bruce. The comments were enlightening, as far as I went. Lots of people interested in this, for sure.

  14. mark, on plants,
    I listened to show today on pines communicating with birches to share soil nutrients. Science Friday. Worth a listen.

  15. thanks I will listen to that

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