November 14, 2005

hollywood stars

i noticed something about living in la today walking back from campus late. living here, you come to expect to not be able to see the stars at night, so you stop looking up. there was one spot of light that shone clear and bright well above the horizon that caught my eye. far brighter than a normal star or even a planet, so perhaps it was something man-made. a satellite, most likely, beaming brightly the the middle of some strange constellation to faint to make out. so i stopped a moment and squinted at the other points of light in the sky, which slowly resolved themselves in front of my eyes. and the more i looked, the more i could make out, across the entire sky. many more then i ever expected to see. hell, living where i did freshman year, the entire sky was taken up by a sickly green haze of light, bounced off the tennis courts. the night sky from home isn't terribly distinct, either, but in certain neighborhoods nearby you can see an abundance of stars in a pitch sky. it's even better out in the hills. getting a little taste of the natural world, paltry as it was, i now want badly to go out into green space. maybe enjoy the pacific coast highway, get out of the city. it's a bit tough without a car, though. but it would be really neat. oh well.


At 7:30 AM, Anonymous Greg said...

I don't know of any satellite that would be visible to the naked eye, other than the moon. You can calculate when some satellites will reflect the sun at you, but none of them have lights on them, simply because it's pointless; the brightest spotlight wouldn't be visible from that far.
You should take the "coast starlight" train up the coast somewhither. I'll actually most likely be taking that one this coming February, and if you want, we could try to align schedules, assuming you're different from other students, who tend to reflexively respond that they "can't" make time for anything, much less align it. :-)


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