"Things You Wouldn't Know If We Didn't Blog Intermittently."
In these moments, when I realize that I have not seen the Milky Way in over a decade, I become very upset with 'progress'... I feel as though some connection to reality has been taken away from me.
Relevant:"So foreign are the real night skies to Los Angeles that in 1994, after the Northridge earthquake jostled Angelenos awake at 4:31 a.m., the observatory received many calls asking about "the strange sky they had seen after the earthquake.""We finally realized what we were dealing with," Krupp said. "The quake had knocked out most of the power, and people ran outside and they saw the stars. The stars were in fact so unfamiliar; they called us wondering what happened."
I like to gaze at the Milky Way (at the rare times it shows itself here) realizing we are orbiting around it. It gives one a real 3D feel for the titanic cosmic ride we are on. The teapot of Sagittarius points to the direction toward Sagittarius A, the monster gravity source at the center that holds the whole structure together. Our orbital direction is apparently toward the star Vega, in the constellation Lyra.Imagine: when the dinosaurs were wiped out 65 mya, the earth had only orbited around 65/240, or not even one third of an orbit. The last full orbit ago, the continents were mashed together into Pangea, and the dinosaurs had not yet emerged! We've (or whatever we were at the time) have only orbited 18-20 times in total since solar emergence from the big bang flotsam. Good TED talk about the center of the galaxy: http://www.ted.com/talks/andrea_ghez_the_hunt_for_a_supermassive_black_hole.htmlVacation idea:There are places out in the desert one can rent a room and a telescopes, and the skies are CLEAR! These are just two, and I don't know if they are good or bad, but they look terrific. http://www.nmskies.com/http://www.shootingstarinn.com/
This is beautiful.
Here's an article on hpw to create this kind of photography: http://www.luminous-landscape.com/techniques/landscape_astrophotography.shtml
Growing up in northern Utah, I always had a decent view of the night sky, but it wasn't until I was about 9 and I went to Lake Powell that I had any concept of how many stars one really could see. It was bright enough to light my way, and utterly awe inspiring.