I’ve never tried to photograph the night sky, until a few days ago. I’ve always been a fan of astronomy. I have all 12 episodes of Cosmos recorded on my DVR and I watch them religiously. Remember back in the day when textbooks taught us that there were 9 planets in our solar system? Then, in 2005, Pluto gets demoted to a “dwarf planet” and now there’s only 8 planets in our solar system and 4 dwarf planets. Huh? You’re telling me there’s not 9 planets and I actually got that question right on my 3rd grade test when I wrote 8? That’s what science does. It tells us that we don’t have to accept what we’ve always been taught to believe if we have the capability to evolve and discover new things…new ways of thinking.
As I was admiring the night sky this past week while camping up in California’s Golden Trout Wilderness, I couldn’t help but hear the voice of the great Neil deGrasse Tyson (the biggest astrophysicist pimp on the planet), who reminds us that our Earth is a speck of “cosmic dust” among the “billions of stars within billions of galaxies” in the expanding universe. Though I couldn’t see it with the naked eye, my camera was able to capture the Milky Way galaxy rising above the mountain peak (centered). The Milky Way (the galaxy to which Earth belongs) is just one of hundreds of billions in the universe. For every sparkling dot in the sky (within our limited view), there could possibly be a solar system and potential life-supporting planet, with conditions similar to ours. We are special and unique no doubt, because this is our home, and there will never be another Earth and the incredible variety of life that it sustains. (Thank God, can you imagine another alien form of the Kardashian family out there polluting the minds of its fellow life forms? They might actually recognize Bruce Jenner to be one of their own.) One can’t help but wonder, how does the night sky look from any of those other billions of floating rocks out there? The timeless and unanswered question of “Are we alone?” will always find its portal to the minds of the curious and open-minded inhabitants of one fortunate rock that was able to find the perfect path around its star, enabling it to sustain life and breed a (sometimes) civilized society with the capability to exercise an endless imagination.
Oh yeah, there was a “Super Moon” out that night too. In my younger and immature days of old, I probably would have posted a picture of my ass right here. You guys are lucky social media wasn’t around in the late 80’s. 😉