Sep 082011
Moonlight through the leaves

Traveling back in time billions of years is fun, but sometimes it’s also fun to be in the present.  Especially when it involves Mrs. Astropotamus.There is a popular astronomy magazine that has a column at the front by a famous astronomy person.  The column is mostly about things in the universe that make you wonder about why they are.  Sometimes, when she can’t sleep and a new magazine has just arrived, she asks me to read from this magazine to her.  I always start with this column.

One night, while reading about the smell of the universe (or maybe it was the various mathematical models that let us figure out the mass of a sun a billion light years away, no wait – it was about all the names for objects that astronomers have come up with over the years – things like quasars and blazars and neutron stars and so forth), she interrupted me and said,

There sure is a lot to look at up there.

Such a simple statement, yet it almost brought tears to my eyes.  She’s right of course, and we use Time Machines to look at all that stuff and figure out what it’s all about.  Some of our Time Machines use visible light, some use infrared, ultraviolet, or radio and even X-rays.  But they all work the same way – aim it at something and you see what it looked like a second or minute or year or centuries ago.  Which is why sometimes it’s fun to be in the present.

Moonlight through the leaves

Moonlight through the leaves

Sometimes, rather than hoping for a clear night of seeing and lots of stars or nebulae or other deep space objects to look at; sometimes when the moon is out but it’s too hot to get the Time Machine out and set it up; sometimes, it’s just nice to look at something, see it, and appreciate it.

That’s what this image is all about:  appreciating the moon through the trees near our pond in twilight.  No special exposure, no stacking or slicing or multiple images.  No computer correction (except for cropping and resizing).  No nothing except a tripod, a camera, me, and what you see here.  I hope you appreciate it just like I do.

I also like to see Mrs. Astropotamus and look at her and appreciate her as well.  We were traveling recently, and we didn’t have any magazines.  But I did have my tablet computer and access to, so I read her some posts from here.  She was tired and trying not to fall asleep, but she was awake enough to ask questions and be interested in what I had written.

At one point, she said, “you are amazing.”  I may have misheard her, but I’m pretty sure she called me amazing.  Later, she told me that she was really impressed with what contained, what I’d written, and suggested some changes to make it even better.

Between you and me, it’s things like that that make me love her even more than the stars above.