Lunar eclipse – 1989. Photograph made with my telescope.
I’m a student of astronomy. I have my own telescope, great astronomy software – Starry Night – and look forward to those “special events” when they happen. Unfortunately, what seems like 99% of the time, it’s overcast when they occur by me. Case in point – the “Blood Moon” lunar eclipse that occurred the other night. When I learned of the impending eclipse, my first thought was, “Overcast”. And, sure enough, it was. And raining.
I saw and photographed a lunar eclipse once – in 1989. That’s when I took the photograph above. And probably the last time the sky wasn’t overcast. (Actually I’m kidding with that comment. I did also photograph Comet Hale-Bopp in 1997. THAT was the last time the skies weren’t overcast.)
NASA has discovered 750 new planets.
And, apparently, they counted the moon twice.
Today is the final mission of NASA’s Space Shuttle program and there is no replacement. There are plans for future missions, space vehicles and the like, but I’m not feeling confident. We can’t get our debt in order or have a serious energy policy or start creating new jobs (the ending of the Shuttle program is costing even more job loss – both in government and the private sector), and on and on. I don’t live in a fantasy world. There have always been and will always be problems/challenges to solve. But when you are the leader in the world in space technology and exploration why would you want to acquiesce that role? For, at least, the next 5 years the Russians will be taking our astronauts to the space station. Wow. Will we have another “Sputnik Moment” when the Chinese threaten to push us into 2nd place in space exploration? I hope so. Our elected leaders, both liberals and conservatives, preach that we are “The Greatest Nation in the World”. Being “Great” means to achieve and we’re not achieving much except agreeing to take a back seat to the future.