O/T Space Science Friday — Musings On Periodic Tables — And The Manifold Mysteries. . . Of One’s Life

Sometimes, when I read something truly transcendent, I find myself short of breath. This is one of those moments.

I’ll not spoil the surprise of it all — it is an easy one page read — in this Friday morning’s New York Times. Do go read it all:

. . . .A few weeks ago, in the country, far from the lights of the city, I saw the entire sky “powdered with stars” (in Milton’s words); such a sky, I imagined, could be seen only on high, dry plateaus like that of Atacama in Chile (where some of the world’s most powerful telescopes are). It was this celestial splendor that suddenly made me realize how little time, how little life, I had left. My sense of the heavens’ beauty, of eternity, was inseparably mixed for me with a sense of transience — and death.

I told my friends Kate and Allen, “I would like to see such a sky again when I am dying.”

“We’ll wheel you outside,” they said. . . .

. . .a broad and ample road, whose dust is gold, and pavement stars, as stars to thee appear seen in the Galaxy, that Milky Way. . . .

Milton

And so it goes. . . do go read this. You will not regret it. This afternoon we will have new images of that enigmatic little dwarf planet Pluto. . . from its improbably but metaphorically perfect “heart” region. Onward — ever, onward. . . . to a wondrous summer weekend, whose nights are powdered with stars. . . .

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