Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Thinking About A Far Away Dawn

I don’t think we would learn more if we sent
robot spacecraft to orbit the people
we tried to understand with our science.

I don’t think we would learn more if we went
into space ourselves naked and aroused
instead of the robot spacecraft we send.

The song was written by Brian Wilson and Mike Love about Shirley Johnson England, the daughter of the owner of radio station KNAK in Salt Lake City, Utah where she worked as a teenager. She borrowed her father's Ford Thunderbird to study at the library at the University of Utah. While at the library she met up with some friends, went to a hamburger stand, and ended up at the drive-in movies. When her father found out, he took the car away. The next day she was at the radio station complaining about it to the staff while The Beach Boys were visiting and they were inspired to write this song.

Murry Wilson, the father of the Wilson brothers, denounced the whole idea for the song as immoral, and tried to prevent the group from recording it. The song, backed by a single-only mix of a cover version of Frankie Lymon and The Teenagers' "Why Do Fools Fall In Love", became a top-five hit. This eventually led to the musicians dismissing Murry as manager during the recording sessions for "I Get Around".

excerpt from “Fun, Fun, Fun”
at Wikipedia

Scientist At A Hamburger Stand

A Piece Of Paper Above An Asteroid

The Dawn spacecraft launched from Earth and traveled toward Mars to take advantage of the gravity of Mars to pull the craft along and help it accelerate. Then Dawn traveled to the asteroid belt and entered into orbit around the asteroid Vesta. After studying Vesta, Dawn left orbit and is currently pushing out a little farther across the asteroid belt to rendezvous with the asteroid Ceres where Dawn will again go into orbit to study the second asteroid. (The Dawn home page at NASA/JPL provides lots of constantly updated information about the spacecraft. Clicking the image above makes it larger. Updated versions of this and other graphics are at “Where Is Dawn Now?”)


There is a beautiful crown above us
early in the evening sky every night
as if we’re wearing it like kings or queens.

The crown has a name that’s beautiful, too,
Corona Borealis. In English
that translates simply to, The Northern Crown.

It can be hard to see in city lights
but with binoculars now there’s a way
but you have to visit the stars themselves.

There are two bright stars in the southern sky,
to the left Saturn, to the right, Spica.

In the eastern sky there is one bright star,
Vega in the constellation Lyra.

Almost overhead but just to the south
there is another bright star, Arcturus.

If you imagine a line in the sky
tracing straight from Spica to Arcturus
and then continuing east to Vega,
that line passes over The Northern Crown
just about one-third of the way between
the two bright stars Arcturus and Vega.

If you travel that line, travel through space
with binoculars one star to the next,
you visit Corona Borealis,
The Northern Crown, and you get to observe
that the stars really do look like a crown,
a beautiful crown of stars above us
as if we’re wearing them like kings or queens.

It’s not like visiting a library
or a hamburger stand or a drive-in,
but when dawn arrives for a king or queen,
a king or queen wearing the stars themselves,
nobody will take away their car keys.

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

Updated Monthly Starchart
at Orion Telescopes

Corona Borealis
at Wikipedia


Crown And Tiara

Everything’s Still There

“The Stars From Here: A Puppet Thriller”

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


This bit of star-hopping
really does work.

I did it Wednesday night, at
around 10pm Chicago time.
Every night the stars will get
a little higher, but the relationships
between them will stay the same.

But, soon, more bright stars will
be appearing in the sky as
the Summer Triangle rises.

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