Monday, June 22, 2009

I think about things like this. I do!



I've been reading about the solar system, something we've learned a lot about during the last ten years. The twin Voyager spacecrafts took a zillion pictures and gathered a load of new information about the planets that has radically altered our vision of this solar neighborhood.

Did you know that Neptune and Uranus have rings like Saturn? So in many ways those three planets have more in common than we once believed. Pluto, no longer a planet, is part of the Kuiper belt of what they call "objects" - it's just one among thousands of things circling the sun, almost like another asteroid belt, way out on the far reaches of the Sun's gravitational field.

When they "demoted" Pluto, people left flowers and notes of condolence at the Smithsonian in front of the sidewalk sign that describes the former planet. I thought that was so sweet.

The astronomical community has embraced all this new information. Me, too! I think it's cool. Puzzling to me is that prominent astrologers haven't followed suit, working with the new information to update the art. Articles have been written about how the demotion has divided astrologers, but no one has yet come up with any ideas about how to incorporate that information in any practical way. It's interesting to realize that in this instance, astrologers are acting like sticks in the mud, while astronomers are going haywire interpreting the new data. Weird isn't it? Pluto wasn't discovered until 1930, so it's not like we're hanging on to some venerable aspect of the art of astrology. What gives with astrologers? Why are we so set in our ways?

Looking at so many images of the planets, I am more in awe than ever of this amazing planet. Though all the planets are interesting looking, nothing comes close to the intricate, elegant swirling blues, greens, browns and fluffy white clouds of planet earth. I am so glad to call this beautiful blue marble my home. Oh yeah!

30 comments:

Elizabeth said...

Fabulous clouds -- oh yeah!
I'm afraid other than looking at the stars and the moon quite often
I find outer space itself a bit on the dull side
as in an old comedy sketch by Peter Cook and Dudley Moore "Boring stuff space........goes on and on....."
I can see why other eople like it though.......

Elizabeth said...

Re Jake
send me your e-mail address as I have some thoughts on elderly pets.
My Skippy lasted until he was almost 16....

Janelle said...

ah loved this post...i am always fascinated by our solar system...we are getting one of those star machines..where you point it at any light in the sky and press and it tells you all about the star or planet...CAN:T WAIT to get it..so much to learn...and yes earth has to be the most beautiful..and lord alive what we do to her...lots love reya XXX j

Joanne said...

Love the photo show, you have a veritable Planetarium going on here today. I'm with you, I wouldn't trade places with any other planet either!

mum said...

gorgeous cloud formation.

Now, ask me: mum, did you immediately link up to the Voyager images? huh, huh?

Answer: Yes, Reya, faster than you can say 'Pluto Got Demoted But It Don't Matter Cuz Pluto Was Just a Metaphor Anyway.' (That's my humble opinion on the topic, but I'm not an astrologer, so I can just be the iconoclast-in-residence, right?)

The weather looks great in Washington. It's pretty snazzy in Graulhet too - I'm off to enjoy it with Cybèle.

Cheers.

Dani said...

This subject totally fascinates me! I took an astronomy class in a few years ago- and our solar system, galaxy and universe totally boggle my mind. When I think about how vast everything is and how small and insignificant (? I don't know if that is a good word to describe us...)we are in the scheme of things it really gets you thinking.

What is your view on Pluto? I was really sad when it was demoted.. I'm not really sure why though. Cute story about the memorial at the Smithsonian.

Bee said...

Big blue marble: it really does look like that, and that description reminds me of my childhood in such a cozy way. I'm with Elizabeth, and content to admire it all from afar and just marvel at the mystery.

So funny about Pluto's memorial, though!

lakeviewer said...

Astrologers versus Astronomers: old versus new. We are still in our infancy when it comes to space exploration. Who can tell how many other 'earth'like planets are out there?

Siobhán said...

Nice thoughts Reya.
Haven't been by in a while and very sorry to hear about Jake.

deborah said...

me2

and no one brings it into more beautiful focus than you

all my love

Whitney Lee said...

I have wondered how the demotion of Pluto has affected my chart. Am I supposed to just disregard all of the squares and oppositions? That's fine, as long as I can keep the conjunts and trines...

Mrsupole said...

For me Pluto is still a planet and they can call it whatever they want. Planet it was and Planet it will be. I am senile and so I can say these things. Well maybe in 30 years I will be. I am just thinking ahead.

The first picture has clouds that look like a big cotton ball. Great pictures. Thanks.

God bless.

PS...and please come see my new poem, I hope we all can share it and help the protestors.

Laurel Kornfeld said...

The astronomical community has NOT embraced the demotion of Pluto. In fact, the demotion has generated much dissent among astronomers. Only four percent of the IAU voted on this, and most are not planetary scientists. Their decision was opposed in a formal petition by hundreds of other professional astronomers, who favor a broader planet definition that includes any non-self-luminous spherical body in orbit around a star. That gives our solar system 13 planets and counting: Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Ceres, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune, Pluto, Haumea, Makemake, and Eris.

Lover of Life said...

I had no idea Pluto was demoted. I wonder if it makes much difference with astrology. Astrology is a sign post like so many things. Not actual reality, just a sign post. At least that's how I have always looked at it.

Loved your changing pics!

Butternut Squash said...

Yeah, Great slide show. We can label as we like but much remains the same. Peace.

I'll do a little sky watching today.

Hammer said...

Even though Pluto's demotion means it has to spend large portions of its day getting coffee for the other planets and filling out FedEx forms, I'm glad it's still out there taking its own sweet time.

mouse (aka kimy) said...

wow that is some thunderhead.

I was very sad when I heard pluto was kicked off the list of planets, I'm happy to learn people were leaving flowers and notes.

if celestial objects and phenomena could feel (maybe they do)I bet ol' pluto was pissed....

xxx a fellow earthling

karen said...

Yes, it is beautiful, and sometimes quite mindblowing, too!

deenaanddavid said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Steve said...

That IS touching about Pluto. As I recall, in New York, people were also in mourning at the planetarium. The planets in the solar system seem so foundational to our existence -- I think it shocked us all to see the line-up suddenly change!

I'm so sorry to hear about your scare with Jake. I agree with the person who told you that you'll know when the time has come. I'm glad he bounced back! Whew!

Gary said...

When we used to ask students about the planets they always noted their favorite and the planet Earth was never mentioned. But one day someone did say Earth was their favorite and it rocked my world (so to speak). I loved that. Earth is a beautiful, beautiful planet. I hope it stays that way in spite of the many ways we abuse it. BTW this comment was sent via BlackBerry so if there are typos it is because I am still learning.

Tom said...

Well, it is just semantics anyway...planet...whatever. Lately I have been fascinated by the creation of the earth and moon and the earth's inner core, etc...life as we know it couldn't exist, it seems, without this spinning inner core and the magnetic field of the earth and so on and so on...there are so many things that depend on so many more, you wonder, how can it just be an accident?

ellen abbott said...

The universe is an awesome place.

steven said...

hey reya!! i love that it's all connected. from the tiniest little piece of dust trapped inside a water droplet lost inside that massive beautiful fluffball of a cloud, to the biggest gas planet whirling around the sun. oooooh i wriggle just thinking about it!!!! steven

Reya Mellicker said...

Laurel thank you SO MUCH for telling me this. Of course you're right. DUH! When are scientists ever in total agreement with each other? Wow. I stand corrected and I appreciate it.

Hammer? I love you. That's all.

Lover of Life - I don't think the planets are merely signposts. I might write another post about planets and astrology and especially Pluto. I have many thoughts about this.

Merle Sneed said...

I'm glad we share this home, you and I.

Lizzy Frizzfrock said...

Reya, dear, I have awards for you at my blog.

Ronda Laveen said...

I am treating K, my friend and astrologer. I will ask her what she thinks and why.

I am totally fascinated with the whole of cosmology right now. Absolutely quicksand stuck in its consciousness. Yeah, I said consciousness. Weird, huh?

Val said...

oh Reya I am totally interested in what goes on up there. I dont entirely get how it influences our day to day events but clearly it does. AND i cannot stop myself star gazing endlessly on beautiful clear moonless nights (like last night) deregulating Pluto sounds just like interplanetary politics to me - its still PLUTO. And yes we are so lucky to be living on the most beautiful wonderous vibrant and enigmatic marble of them all!! so what if we dont have rings....we have EVERYTHING ELSE..
love it here.xx Looking forward to your Pluto post!

Reya Mellicker said...

Ronda - Doesn't sound weird to me. I believe sentience pervades the multiverse. So we are on the same page.