Tuesday, January 08, 2013

I Think Stars Want Us

In the islands where I grew up
Nothing seems the same
It’s just the patterns that remain
Empty shells
But there’s a strangeness in the air
We know too well

“On The Border”
Al Stewart

Today, Tuesday evening as I type this, it was a cool evening and I mean cool as in cold, and cool as in cool.

For the last couple of months around here south of Chicago we’ve had a lot of cloudy weather. I’ve gotten to enjoy photographing the young Moon, but it has been hit and miss for a while because of all the clouds.

A few days ago—almost like somebody threw a switch—the clouds went away and now we are getting almost clear blue skies during the day and clear star-filled skies almost every night.

So this evening I was walking home from somewhere and shivering because of the cold, but I was also enjoying the clear sky. Jupiter is bright early in the evening now. Looking up I noticed that Jupiter is very close to the beautiful orange star Aldebaran in Taurus.

So I looked down and a little to the east and there were the familiar stars of Orion the hunter, Rigel, Bellatrix and Betelgeuse. And Sirius a little lower still.

Among astronomy buffs there are what are casually called ‘winter stars’ and ‘summer stars’ and here in the northern hemisphere winter stars are constellations like Taurus, Orion, Canis Major, Gemini, Cancer and other, surrounding stars.

Today, tonight I mean, this evening, was the first time this season I saw the winter stars.

I love the winter stars. I’ve posted about them many times, for instance,

Blazing Dawn

Pumpkin Mars In The New Myth Sky

Moths, Scorpions And Unreal Women

More Night Than Just The Stars

The summer stars are wonderful, too. Lyra, Cygnus, Aquila and others. I’ve posted about them many times, too, for instance,

Where The Scorpion Sits Down For Tea

Expeditions And Wilderness Parties

Unstable Designs That Burn Up

When I first became serious about astronomy as a very young boy the first constellations I learned were Taurus, with the very beautiful Pleiades, and Orion with its distinctive belt. Now, no matter how much I’ve come to dislike the cold, in a very intense and personal way I regard the winter stars, somehow, as something like home.

This new year has gotten off to a very slow, even plodding, start for me. But looking up this evening and seeing the winter stars for the first time this season made me relax a little. I felt comfortable. And happy.


Magazines and books look like magazines and books
but they’re different they’re so different from what they were.

People look like people but instead of sunlight
instead of reflecting light from the nearest star
people reflect electric television light.

Electric light pushes away the stars at night.

Television is better than lonely darkness.

But the sky is more the stars are more and I think
stars want us to see them and will always love us.

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Old Ghosts Haunting A Garden Shop Moon

The Thin Crescent Moon—A Postscript

Crown And Tiara

Blows Against The (Expensive) Empire
“Have you seen the stars tonight?”

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