Wednesday, September 27, 2006
~ Starry Waltz
~ Dancing in Space
Available now at Art166.com!
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Ah, the International Space Station --
. . . another of my dream destinations! One of the big projects for the recent Atlantis shuttle mission was to install some gi-normous solar panels on the International Space Station (ISS). They'll eventually be used for power (additional panels will be added by another shuttle crew).
The side effect of these panels is that the ISS is significantly brighter and more easily visible in the night sky. Last Thursday evening, our local meteorologists made a pretty big deal of letting us know the ISS was headed our way, and gave a 15-minute window of time when we could clearly see it crossing our skies on Friday morning. (As long as heavy cloud cover or rain didn't move in, and really, what were the odds of that?)
So, there I was, in the too-warm, yuck-clammy dark of 6:30 a.m., saying a hushed, but friendly, "Good morning!" to several of my early-to-work (or late-to-home) neighbors, pacing and staring into a brilliant, starry sky. Not one of my neighbors bothered to ask why I was out in the dark, or what I was looking for. (Hm, it's possible they know me better than I thought they did. Have I already become the "strange lady in the house down the block"? I like it!)
Anyway, at about 6:39 a.m., Eureka!, I spotted what looked like a very bright star coming my way (well, if stars were in the habit of smoothly sailing right past Orion's Belt)! It was approaching at a steady pace, from the southwest corner of the city, headed diagonally to the northeast. No telescope or binocs necessary -- my less-than-perfect vision was all it took for me to be part of this very exciting 4 or 5 minutes. As I watched the space station soaring almost directly overhead, I tried to create a telepathic link to the crew, just so they'd know I was thrilled to spend a few minutes of my day with them.
Okay, the telepathy thing didn't actually work, but it's the thought that counts . . .
You'll probably get a chance to see it, too. Click here to read a great article about the new solar panels and for more info about when and where you might see the ISS
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Today's images are posted purely because I'm in a celestial state of mind. You can purchase them at Art166.com or read more about them, here.
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In other news, I've somehow managed to lose, throw away, give away, hide, or otherwise misplace the power cord that goes to my trusty, if old, Fujitsu Tablet PC. How is it possible to misplace something that only serves one function, and, for 5 years, has ALWAYS been stored in the same place???
Which reminds me of the time I dreamed about putting my TV remote in a safe place and, a week later, found it in the freezer! But, that's a sleepwalker's story for another day!