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Saturday, July 21, 2007

The starry, starry sky

Teach me your mood,
O patient stars.
Who climb each night,
the ancient sky.
leaving on space no shade, no scars,
no trace of age, no fear to die.

- Emerson, The Poet

Arcturus. Cassiopeia. Corona Borealis. Vega. Polaris. What beautiful names, the name of the stars and constellations! Last evening, we attended an open air lecture on the planets, stars and constellations at Prairie Oaks Park, sponsored by the Otterbein College Astronomy Department. The evening was crisp and clear, according to our astronomer, very little particulate in the air, giving us a stunning view of the starry, summer sky.

Adults and children alike, clustered around the high powered telescopes which afforded us all the exquisite views of Jupiter and it's four moons, Venus in crescent, the highlands and craters of the moon and globular star clusters.

We saw several "shooting stars" or meteors, streak across the sky; one meteor was particularly bright and provided the same response from my son, Joseph, as the 4th of July fireworks display attended a few weeks ago.

My favorite constellations? Corona borealis, for sure. The Northern Crown, and that is exactly what it looks like in the night sky. Also, Cassiopeia, the "W" we tell the children, our "name" (Wasson) is written in the heavens! Sagittarius, which I will henceforth call the "teapot", thanks to the observation of our sounds lovelier, I think.

Tonight, we will lay a blanket in the grass and stare, once again, into the starry, summer sky. Looking for shooting stars. Finding our name in the heavens. Resting beneath the loving gaze of our Heavenly Father.

Canst thou bind the sweet influence of Pleiades or loose the bands of Orion?

- Old Testament, Job, XXXVIII, 32

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