Pauca Verba is Latin for A Few Words.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Northeast Pennsylvania ~ Late November Sky



Here's a photo of the early morning eastern sky in North East Pennsylvania, looking out the front door of the retreat house in late November. Photographer Steve Nordahl calls this "The Morning Lineup!" There is Venus down below and then Mars moving up and right and then even further going up the arc (almost hidden in the deep darkness) is Jupiter. How wonderful! 

But the hills here conceal Spica (down under Venus and to the right). Spica looks like a star but it's really two stars (eleven million miles apart) that whirl around each other appearing as one. Both are larger and brighter than our sun. 

I've been told that if Spica were to explode and cease to exist, we would still see its light for 262 years! 

Looking up at the sky - really looking - calls us to a new mindfulness. For all we think we know, we really know nothing. There's all this beauty and wonder in the sky which belongs to no one but is there for all of us to enjoy. Instead we keep our minds so small and low, with our flags and missiles, borders, interests and aggressive claims. It all results in fighting, explosions, wasting and tears.

If we could land on Spica and not get burned up, the nation landing first would probe around to find what might be of value, then stick a flag in the ground to make the claim. Undoubtedly at some point there'd be a war to keep the stars as private property until they were exhausted and rendered useless. 

Here's a picture of Spica through an unfiltered telescope. Let's just ponder:

Spica's two-ness
its orbiting
its distance
its enormity
its brightness
its presence
the imagination of it all!




17 comments:

  1. If it were not for the clouds I would run outside immediately and ponder it all with this in mind. We are just a miniscule speck in God's creation. A wonder to be alive.

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  2. It is indeed a wonder to be alive! May you see Venus, Mars and Jupiter tomorrow - and Spica too!

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  3. You call us to be mindful in many ways. I can certainly relate to this sense of wonder. Isn't it awful to think that we, as a human race, have the eternal need to conquer? Why can't we just be? In the moment, in God's presence.

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    1. "In the moment, in God's presence" - and with each other.

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    2. With each other is a key point. And we can see these same planets from around the giant earth, showing us.even closer in our togetherness.

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  4. While looking out at the night sky, the insignificance of mankind becomes a dawning reality. Stars are the little snags in the celestial cloth that separates us from heaven. How bold we are to think we should lay claim to any of God's creations.

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  5. I love to look at the earth pictures taken from space - the planet, a swirl of green, blue and white. And there are no boundaries - no borders.

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  6. All this is only a few words from God. He is indeed great.

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  7. When I look at the night sky and take it all in, I wonder what secrets the universe holds. It is so vast and beautiful, yet we understand so little about it. I wonder if there is other life out there in far reaching galaxies. Do you think there are other living beings that exist? Are we allowed to believe such things at all?

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    1. I find it hard to believe that there aren't life forms in other places. I hope (for their own sake) they do a better job of tending their planet than we have.

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    2. I find it hard to believe that there aren't life forms in other places. I hope (for their own sake) they do a better job of tending their planet than we have.

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  8. Wow! What a photo. So beautiful and peaceful. The sky had a great meaning for my husband and I. We took an astronomy class during the winter semester in NC together over 40 years ago! We need to return to that place. The retreat house is much closer ! We need to get up there together soon! Lately when I look at the sky and the moon I think of us all seeing the same site yet many suffering so much more than I. It's been bitter sweet lately.

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    1. The suffering. The bitter-sweet. Much of it we just need to hold. It serves a purpose.

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  9. This is why I come back again and again. Posts like this invite me to think and reflect in a wide variety of ways. Here you point to the sky which we all can see, but don't notice. A spectacular view to which we fail to even look at. You point the way for those who want to grow spiritually. Stop and look. See what God has made. Listen to his message. Be a better person who looks out for the needs of others and do as Jesus did. I will take notice. I will ponder as you said. Thank you.

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  10. Now when I look at that beautiful sky. I think soon the creator of all that will come down and live among us and all those stars will show the way. It will be a great celebration!

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  11. Now that I know to look for these planets all lined up like ducks in a row, it has been cloudy. Like in life, even when you know where to look, sometimes you just can't see what you are seeking.

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