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The Moon Tonight and Observational Astronomy

This was our moon on June 30th around 9 PM. I say our moon because every living thing on our earth has only this one moon. All over the Earth we all saw the same moon on this night and every night. People great distances apart could have seen the same moon simultaneously with or without knowing it.

I am a huge fan of observational astronomy and the “Sidewalk Astronomers”. Sure it’s partly the long history of peoples gazing to the sky and marking the seasons or navigating the oceans. The history of gazing at the heavens from the Dogon, Ptolemy, and Galileo to us right now is a commonality we all share. Our clocks and our calendars are based on this long history. But the most profound reason is that gazing to the sky reminds us that we are part of one planet floating in space. All of the life on our earth shares the same sky marking the same time together. We are a small part of a big globe in a perhaps infinitely large universe. While this doesn’t make me feel very special it does make feel included and connected to all the life here.

I encourage everyone to have a look at the night sky, attend a star party, point a telescope at something, etc… I don’t think your time will be wasted or that you will be sorry that you did.


What do you think?

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    • Thanks so much. I do have some atmospheric disadvantage due to my low elevation and close proximity to the ocean. Observational astronomy is something we all share in common and it is ancient so perhaps it can serve as a small reminder of our place. Cheers.

    • Thanks, Cheers. (sorry I was gone so long and did not answer) Observational astronomy is something everyone can do without any equipment – it’s nice to have a knowledge though of the ecliptic and to keep track of which planets are visible. and kids love that stuff – like “look there’s Mars”

  1. Looking into the heavens makes me realize how insignificant we as humans are compared to the whole of the universe. And time is not real but man created concept or illusion if you will. Just thoughts from a dog. ?

    • The auto timer helped me also. Oddly pushing the shutter with my thumb (may be the different holding of the camera) is better than using my finger also. But the timer – yes!
      I’m glad to know of someone else who is lazy about tripods.

  2. You are so right. We all have only one Moon and one Sun. When we see the Moon, others see the Sun. Regularity in Nature. I love to watch her, there is a very specific radiance. But when there is a full moon, I can not sleep calmly.

  3. Great shot and good text. I agree about the most important reason for sky gazing. With time I can lose the sense of up and down, and gain a degree of objectivity which is very hard when we are going about our daily lives in which gravity and the whole up-down binary plays such an integral part 🙂

    • It was hand held- there is a tripod in a closet somewhere … just to keep track of the moon and planets with the naked eye is rewarding. Richard Dobson is the inventor of the Dobsonian reflector. He taught a telescope making class in Golden Gate Park and founded the Sidewalk Astronomers of San Francisco. The amateur astronomers all over the world are the coolest people. — Thanks so much the waning moon seems to photograph better. Cheers

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