Tuesday, May 15, 2018

[U] Some Lighter Fare: Interstellar Space Science -- And... Another "Sorta' Close Shave", This Evening?

At around 6 PM EDT this evening, a football field sized rock will whiz by, at 28,000 miles an hour -- passing fairly close, inside the orbital distance between the Earth and her moon. [There is just too much hatred -- in the hard news stories, of this day. . . . so we will shift to celestial poetry, and ancient mountain canyons echoing the same, in their running waters.]

It is absolutely no existential threat, and may truthfully only be seen with a mid-range (or better) telescope, and then, only if the skies are clear tonight -- and one knows exactly where in the sky to. . . look. Even so, I am already hearing the echoes of silvery words, writ in water. . . . of shepherded moons:

. . . .Like many. . . in [the high Rockies,] where the summer days are almost Arctic in length, I often do not start [river rafting] until the cool of the evening.

Then in the Arctic half-light of the canyon, all existence fades to a being with my soul and memories and the sounds of the [headwaters of the Arkansas] River and a four-count [oarsmen's] rhythm and the hope that a trout will rise [not too far ahead of the bow, shimmering in the rose light].

Eventually, all things merge into one, and a river runs through it. The river was cut by the world’s great flood and runs over rocks from the basement of time. On some of those rocks are timeless raindrops. Under the rocks are the words, and some of the words are [mine, to you]. . . .

—Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It (1976)

This rock, called Asteroid 2010 WC9 -- like me -- poses no even remotely plausible existential threat to anyone's family, or life, on Earth. Now you know. And, some of those words are mine, to you. . . . working from home this fine Tuesday. Smile -- baby duty early, today. [To burn at a distance, or to freeze. . . nearby?]


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