A Sense of DNA Level Déjà Vu [Part 2]

 

Throughout Part 1, you and I began reliving my overnight, in the wee hours of July 28th telescopic “travels” to Mars… at a point where the red planet had been scant days shy of it’s closest encounter with Earth since August 27, 2003.

By that post’s conclusion, we’re arriving at the moment of first contact… my first, telescopically enhanced, visual contact with the red planet in nearly 15 years. I begin sharing my initial feelings of the moment… earth-shattering impressions one need not be an astronomer… either professional or amateur… to experience and appreciate. I wind up concluding…

“A transcendental moment, such as this, is where one’s worldly concerns dissolve into the rarefied air. Minds tend to free associate / wander and welcome the timelessness of it all. A sense of DNA level déjà vu also enters the mix… after all… has not humankind been stargazing ever since first standing up on two feet? Ever since that (then) newly evolved posture first allowed us to look upward to the eternal heavens?”

As Part 2 begins… we now return to my backyard open air observatory… my eyes and mind still effortlessly wandering the heavens. I cannot help but feel (right down to my infinitesimal DNA) that sturdy bond with the multiple hundreds of generations of human stargazers before my time.

At the very first glimpse of Mars in my scope’s eyepiece, my time traveling / traveling the heavens begins. Flashbacks first send me to my previous, August 2003, telescopic, close encounter with Mars and, next, back to April of that very year… when my own mother’s change of address had involved her new heavenly home. And that, too, reminds me of how I had chosen a heavenly / stellar theme for her memorial service… had written… had interwoven… the very stars into the eulogy I had delivered to honor her…. to chronicle her life and times… to remind all in attendance of her star power.

Long before this night, I’ve realized that it matters not if my observations are telescopically enhanced or naked eye… whenever I’m gazing up at the starry skies I cannot help but feel that unbreakable bond with my forbearers… my unshakable belief that both of my parents’ loving, protecting instincts are still intact and alive… that their eternal spirits are gazing right back at me. And I suspect I shall continue to harbor such perceptions until I join them, someday… when, upon my arrival, I wind up partying right alongside them at that ultimate family reunion in the sky!

My thoughts soon crossfade to my very first, fresh out of the packing carton, telescopic viewing session on April Fools Day ‘97… just in time to eyewitness The Great Comet of ’97, Hale-Bopp… observe its flyby into our inner solar system’s local neighborhood. More crossfades ensue. I’m now revisiting long ago, memorable viewing sessions involving my first time encounters with Saturn… my being wowed by its almost surreal system of rings… my also inviting my Mom to eyewitness this natural wonder on the grandest of scales… and her being wowed, too. I also recall my first sighting of Jupiter and its four Galilean satellites… as well as my earliest deep space visits with The Pleiades / The Seven Sisters and Orion’s Nebula and Trapezium Cluster.

Imagine that! All of these cherished memories occurring while standing beneath… in the midst of… this marvelous Mars July ’18 moment… while all the details of this close encounter are getting written into the annals of astronomical history… are concurrently being imprinted / indelibly burned into my own memories.

My thoughts now crossfade to my boyhood days… to a time when I first came down with my “bad case” of Mars Mania… all of which I’ll be fondly recalling when I post Part 3… later this week.

 

 

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A Sense of DNA Level Déjà Vu

 

As I commit this black font to white screen, it’s been approximately 36 hours since my reluctantly “returning” to Earth. Much transpired leading up to, during and since my “journey” and… via the following account… I now begin to relive my “travels” thru space/time.

Once again, I find myself venturing forth into out-of-doors overnight… the wee hours of Saturday, July 28th… experiencing the sensation of being enshrouded by the unseasonably chilly air…12.8ºC / 55ºF [Note to self… next time don both jacket and dew resistant footwear].

My 2 orbs panning, upward, across the 2 a.m. heavens, I find 2 orbs instantly, intently, “staring” back at me… our dazzling, milk-white, Full Moon and, not far beneath it, its celestial BFF… the vividly reddish-orange, planet Mars… scant days away from its closest encounter with Earth since August 27, 2003. For a moment I chuckle… might Mars’ orb / eye be deemed bloodshot?

My thoughts now dismiss the frivolous / focus upon the factual. I mentally note, crunch and compare the specific orbital data of each new millennial, Mars/Earth rendezvous… 2003’s distance apart had been 55.8 million km / 34.6 million mi compared to the here and now’s projected 57.6 million km / 35.8 million mi.

My naked eye observations of these spherical apparitions have instantaneously prompted my I’ve-Gotta-Get-A-Closer-Look reaction. Rushing back inside, within mere minutes I’m lugging out and setting up my 90mm refractor telescope / tripod and transforming my home-turf into an open air, backyard observatory.

Regrettably, proximity, alone, is no guarantee of ideal seeing conditions… especially when peering at dinky Mars through such a small, low tech scope. The other factors in play will be [1] Earth’s rotation, which… @460 meters per second / 1,000 miles per hour… is constantly making a motion picture out of our nighttime skies… [2] the tilt of Earth’s axis positioning the red planet too low in the southwestern, hazy skies… [3] the sky awash with both lunar brightness and manmade light pollution… [4] the ongoing “game” of planetary peekaboo “curtesy” of two, nearby, towering, deciduous trees.

Even so, this amateur astronomer relishes any opportunity to experience the grandeur of our little corner of the universe… views any need to repeatedly relocate and realign his unwieldy scope to be a labor of love.

And now that I’ve accurately trained my smaller, finder scope’s crosshairs, it’s time to peer through the eyepiece… get my very first, optically enhanced, glance at Mars in nearly a decade and a half. I can feel my facial muscles forming a slight, contented smile.

The still of the night’s “soundtrack” is now “in/on the air”. The “musical genres” inclusive of my “easy listening” rhythmic breathing… the “one hit wonder” of brief, off in the far distance, spooked crow’s caws… the occasional “garage band” roar of 18-wheeler semis barreling down the faraway, highways and byways… the “classical flautist” inspired unexpected, mournful blasts of a miles away, freight-train engineer’s horn.

A transcendental moment, such as this, is where one’s worldly concerns dissolve into the rarefied air. Minds tend to free associate / wander and welcome the timelessness of it all. A sense of DNA level déjà vu also enters the mix… after all… has not humankind been stargazing ever since first standing up on two feet? Ever since that (then) newly evolved posture first allowed us to look upward to the eternal heavens?

 

Stay tuned for Part 2… to be posted later this week.

 

 

Life’s Sounds, Sights & Scents

Not too long ago, slow loading websites involved a time-out… mine. I stood up from behind my desk for a much-needed stretch… accompanied by my inevitable yawn and barely audible, exhaled “ahh”. While feeling the comforting, shifting of my vertebrae, I realized it was time to detangle myself from “The Web”.

Wandering over to my window, I immediately noticed the dazzling rays of dawn’s early sunlight… how those beams were causing a dew dropped, flowering shrub to sparkle and glisten. Truly a lovely sight to behold all in itself… but that was merely Ma Nature’s warm up act.

As Her next scene opened… a hovering hummingbird appeared center stage… flitting from blossom to blossom… gathering the nectar for her morning repast. I marveled at her delicate features and diminutive physique… the blur and subtle whirring of her wings.

This feathered aviatrix had reopened my eyes… reminded me how admiring natural wonders isn’t really all that new to me. She inspired my poem to showcase Ma Nature’s grand performances… the very sounds, sights and scents, which have meant so much to me throughout my life.

A wealth of Ma Nature’s sounds, sights and scents is there for everyone’s enjoyment… all free for the taking. Try not to be too busy to notice these wonders… many are easily drowned out by our manmade din… rapidly disappear in the blink of an eye… speedily disperse into thin air.

 

Sounds…

Chipmunks chirp out bird impressions,

Paired morning doves coo love professions.

Geese honk and fly V-shaped arrays,

Ducks quack out, float communiqués.

Birds’ dawn-dusk venues, woods, treed streets,

Orchestral movements, caws, peeps, tweets.

 

Birdcalls, babbling brooks, blend, mix,

To flower blooms, buzzed bees affix.

One-chord cricket songs, serene,

June beetles ping, each widow’s screen.

Winds rustle tree leaves, clinging vines,

Make whooshing sounds, through stately pines.

 

Each thunder rumble, boom, clap, crash,

Downpours pool, the raindrops splash,

Fall, winter gales, numb summer heat,

Fallen leaves, snows crunch, beneath our feet.

Dusk’s shadows descend, still the land,

Night’s embracing hush, doth chill, expand.

 

Sights…

The pallet of sunrise, boasts a blended hue,

Glistens spider spun webs, all beaded in dew.

Hopping rabbits drop by, feast on lush green clover,

Swallowtails, Monarchs flit, both float by, fly over.

Red-orange-yellow sunsets, become dusky skies,

Next, luminesced flickers, pale glows, fireflies.

 

Night’s lightening doth fork, cloud-to-cloud, sky-to-ground,

Bolts strike where they please, to startle, astound.

But not to be outdone, daylight’s adlib show,

Presents a full spectrum, ROY G. BIV’s arced rainbow.

Ma Nature paints leaves, Her full-time fall showing,

Feathered flakiness next, Her wintertime snowing.

 

Connect the dots patterns, grace our starlit skies,

Orion’s Nebula, Pleiades, please our naked eyes,

As do the five planets, grouped, at times, two or more,

Clouds dance with the Moon, in phases all four.

Scopes enlarge Lunar craters, the Martian icecap,

Moons of huge Jupiter, Saturn’s Cassini ringed gap.

 

Scents…

Freshly mown grass, frees-up nose friendly fumes,

As doth month of May’s bouquet, of lilacs’ full blooms.

Summertime rainstorms, doth freshen our air,

Lightning sparks scented ozone, to aid in skincare.

Also pleasing, as well, is sea saltwater spray,

The shady woods’ earthiness, as we walk life’s pathway.

Are There Any Anti-DT ETs Out There?

Voters will oft swear during presidential election years… swear they’ll leave America if they wind up witnessing the Inauguration Day swearing in of a tyrant. With despot Donald Trump now one step closer to that end… with “Bernie or Bust” folks aiding and abetting that grotesque monster, this means Earth, itself, is also one step closer to THE END.

After all, once Trump is in possession of… possessed by… the nuclear launch codes, very few Earthlings could ever hope to escape his hotheaded hatred and wrath… and the resultant apocalyptic aftermath.

This means it’s not too early for survivor wannabes to start planning our escape. But, just how far would we need to go? For starters, check out this Top Ten List of purported, post WW-III terrestrial havens.

10. Switzerland

9. Tuvalu

8. New Zealand

7. Bhutan

6. Chile

5. Iceland/Greenland

4. Denmark

3. Malta

2. Ireland

1. Fiji

The following vid will elaborate how these ten nations might survive. Afterwards, I’ll add my two cent’s worth.

Now… re that above video vignette, I find it hard to believe that these ten nations will be fully exempt from the sunlight blocking nuclear winter and the massive levels of unleashed, lethal radiation following global thermonuclear exchange.

So, where do we go from there? Well, it’s time to think big. So, let’s all meet back here after we take a little spin around our “neighborhood”, via this link and/or the vid below…

So, now that we’ve scoped out the surreal, real estate, it should be clear that, while these images do prove to be breathtaking sights… breathtaking, literally, is the operative word! By human standards these worlds are inhospitable.

The four outer gas giant planets have no visible surfaces and, as for their moons, with the exception of Saturn’s Titan (with its dense nitrogen/methane atmosphere), the rest are in a vacuum… or close to it. And the whole kit and caboodle of these spheres is freeze your booty off cold, too!

As for the inner rocky surfaced planets, Mercury, in closest proximity to the Sun, gets totally “fried”. Next up is Venus, a thoroughly nasty world… sulfuric acid clouds, massive amounts of CO2, crushing atmospheric pressure and a runaway greenhouse effect resulting in 800 – 900° F surface temperatures.

Only Mars seems to have any real potential and, even then, it would require the concerted efforts of terraformers, who’d likely need several millennia to make the red planet totally fit for human life.

Long story short, there’s no place like home… no known place like our home world.

So where does that leave us? Well, once again, we’re going to have to think big… this time, REALLY BIG! We have two options to totally escape Tyrant Trump…

EITHER the American voters will need to come to their senses by this November and elect Hillary Clinton…

OR we, who blog at WordPress, will need to, ASAP, harness the aggregate power of our blogging network to attract the attention of some truly out of this world “Followers”. Let’s band together to fire off a virtual reality flare… in hopes that extraterrestrials may be monitoring our Internet blogging activity.

Towards that end… I blog our desperate, interstellar plea for help!

ATTN: Benevolent alien spacefarers everywhere! Please dispatch, immediately, as many starships as you can spare. While we, of the planet Earth, could never expect you to rescue the multimillions of us attempting to flee from madman Donald Trump, perhaps you can save a small portion of us? Maybe transplant a few good women, children and men to an Earthlike new world? Please hurry! Please save us before it’s too late!