Last night the sky was glorious, the serene beauty overpowering the light pollution and clutter of our civilization. The horned moon low in the west, almost a true Cheshire smile, cast a mellow light above the skyline, and in the east, Orion rising on his ancient westward trek across the winter heavens. The atmosphere was so clear that red Betelgeuse and blue Rigel were colorful beacons anyone would have recognized had they only looked.
The Pleiades and Cassiopeia were above Ginger's barn, but it was Jupiter, seemingly stationed directly above me, that crowned the sky. It seems a profound evolutionary mistake that human beings only have a few decades beneath the living skies.
I recently learned that eventually the Light will go out in the universe, when all of the hydrogen is consumed by the uncountable stars. I imagined the last remaining burning star, the ultimate ending flame of light in an infinite expanse of utter darkness at the end of time. It made me incredibly sad. Nothing lasts forever - not winter, not life, not sadness, not happiness, not even light.
M74: The Perfect Spiral Credit & Copyright: Descubre Foundation, Calar Alto Observatory, OAUV, DSA, V. Peris (OAUV), J. L. Lamadrid (CEFCA), J. Harvey (SSRO), S. Mazlin (SSRO), I. Rodriguez (PTeam), O. L. (PTeam), J. Conejero (PixInsight).