as the circular wall whirred

A couple weekends ago, I went to an observatory outside San Francisco and looked through a large mechanized telescope. I saw:

+ Pleiades (M45), a constellation also known as the Seven Sisters.

+ The Beehive Cluster (M44), which is made up of several hundred stars 500 light years away.

+ Bades Galaxy (M81), a shivering bluish haze at the bottom of the circular lens.

+ Gamma Leonis, double star, like two fiery sparklers.

+ Mars. It had an aura of tangerine/salmon radiating its outer edge.


Since I’ve been back in the States, I’ve somehow lost the feeling of looking at things, alone. Once in a while there are moments, and I am grateful: hiking around the hills of Point Bonita and Rodeo Beach late in the afternoon, driving up to Twin Peaks to look at the city lights and a large orange moon, crunching through the woods in Tahoe. Underneath the ice, there was an occasional deep, breaching sound like melancholy whales (which I assume was actually a rather precise interaction of ice, water, and air).

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