Bournemouth to Weymouth, towns named for where rivers meet the sea. Ancient folds of rock help define the coast.
This is from the tumblr of Col. Chris Hadfield, a Canadian astronaut currently living on the International Space Station.
But I like to think of it as Space’s tumblr, and every single post is like, “Hey, guys. It’s me, Space. Look at you down there. Can you believe all the silly crap you’re fighting and worrying over? I mean, JUST LOOK AT YOU. You guys better cowgirl up and work together to keep this place running, because that is one gorgeous motherf*&ing planet you’ve got.”
Astounding photo of comet Hyakutake as it passed by the Earth.
I remember driving up a neighbor’s mountain to get a good look at Hyakutake. I saw it through a telescope and binoculars, bisected by the silhouettes of a stand of trees (This was a mountain in Appalachia. You can’t get away from trees to stargaze). I remember thinking it beautiful, a fireball trailing a cosmic veil. We called it the Great Comet. We had no idea what we were in for the very next year in 1997, when Hale-Bopp arrived.
PANSTARRS seemed fairly dim when it was first discovered but has now brightened considerably and will be visible to the naked eye around March 2013. A treat for skywatchers! The comet is expected to be about as bright as the star Vega (not as bright as a planet; brighter than most stars).
Comet Hale-Bopp or The Great Comet of 1997 is my earliest memory. I was barely able to walk at the time but its sight and beauty has been driving me since.
Hale-Bopp wasn’t my first memory but it stands out strongly in my childhood. I remember coming home from some school event to a chilly but unusually bright night. The comet filled the sky, twin rivers of ice blue and magnesium white that consumed the stars.
If Comet ISON survives the Sun and arrives when expected in late 2013, we’ll be treated to a second Great Comet, perhaps one that will put Hale-Bopp to shame. Many of us will see two (three if you remember Hyakutake in 1996, and even four if you were lucky enough to see Comet West) great comets in the span of only a few decades. Centuries can go by without such a delight. Here’s hoping that ISON doesn’t disappoint.