Our eclipsing star: The Big Picture

I just knew that the The Big Picture would do a remarkable job covering last week’s solar eclipse! And I hate to say “I told you so”, but I was right in predicting that India would have an incredible view, wasn’t I?

(All amazing photography courtesy of that aforementioned Font Of Great Photography; click each image to link)

{ Eclipsing the Taj Mahal: Agra }

{ A golden eclipse, and the Sikh Golden Temple: Amritsar }

{ Sol, and a statue of Ghandi: Chennai }

{ The peeking “limb”: Varanasi }

{ The other Red Crescent: Varanasi }

{ The Full Corona: Varanasi }

Simply stunning! (The photographs, and our universe).


More On The Moon

More on the topic of lunar loveliness

Ardha chandrasana: Half-moon pose

For Earthlings, today is New Moon (the lunar phase, not the teen vampire popfic phenom). For Ashtanga yogis, today is therefore Moon DayTraditionally, this is a day of rest, or at least, non-practice, associated with apana: a grounding force that renders us settled, but also less inclined to physical exertion. Personally, as an Earthling and an Ashtangi, I feel out of kilter if I don’t rise with the sun and meander to the mat. So my Moon Day began with lots of beautiful, earthing asanas — parighasana, krounchasana, gomukhasana and supta padangusthasana woven into my practice, followed by a long, deep savasana, pulled downward by the firm hand of gravity.


The longest solar eclipse of the 21st Century happened today:

{ via The Age }

In parts of India, the sun even rose in partial eclipse, the moon edging further and further in between Earth and Sol with every passing dawntime minute…* I can only imagine that saluting to a partially eclipsed surya must be a truly wondrous experience. Can you think of a better way to feel like an infinitesimal animated visitor in an incomprehensibly mysterious, miraculous universe? I can’t!

* The Beeb has some nice photos here.


Lunar loveliness

It was 40 years ago today… that a handful of Really Brave Menfolk* did something unfathomably unfathomable, and jetted off to the moon for a bit of a stroll on the lunar surface.

As usual, Boston.com’s The Big Picture has put together Remembering Apollo 11 for the occasion: a remarkable photographic retrospective. My favourites are the ever-famous ‘Earthrise’ image (see below for more on the wording):

And this beautiful portrait of a beautiful young Neil Armstrong:


But, as usual, it’s the  highly-specialised, sometimes elegant, often eccentric extra-terrestrial lexicon (with cutely self-explanatory acronyms) that tugs at my heartstrings.

And the cutely obvious:

  • ALOTS: Airborne Lightweight Optical Tracking System
  • Earthrise: Only On The Moon. From Earth, we can watch the moon rise above the horizon. On the Moon, it’s t’other way around. Simple.
    “The Earthrise photograph was not on the mission schedule and was taken in a moment of pure serendipity
    [cute phrase]As Apollo 8 emerged from the far side of its fourth orbit, crew commander Frank Borman rolled the spacecraft so as to position its antennas [sic. I know: I’d use “antennae” too…] for radio contact with mission control. Looking to the lunar horizon for reference he exclaimed: “Oh my God, look at that picture over there! Here’s the Earth coming up!”…The image shows our entire world as a small and blue and very finite globe, without our nearest celestial neighbour a desolate presence in the foreground.”

    — ‘Genesis: The Story of Apollo’, The Sciences 1998, via abc.net.au

  • Late Heavy Bombardment: The era during which frequent meteor impacts left the moon with its pock-marked complexion.

And, to finish, an iota of luminous trivia for us all: the reason the moon glows so is because almost half of all moondust is made of tiny spherical glass particles, which reflect dazzling sunlight in our general direction (much like those reflective glass bead road markings… but, er, prettier).

And on that note, Goodnight Moon!

* I have no feminist or post-feminist qualms referring to Armstrong, Aldrin & co as such: I can’t think of anything more terrifying than space travel, let alone pioneering space travel.

DEFINITELY RELATED POSTS: The language of deep space

All photos: Remembering Apollo 11, Boston.com The Big Picture

“Refridgerators”, “pidgeons”, “burried”, and The French Band.


Read (v.)>> Good luck selling that “refridgerator”

A brilliant (and very astute) rant from Verbal Remedy (“The She-Lord Of Perpetual Nattering”) on her Open Salon blog Verbs and Spices (once upon a snark) about the relationship between spelling and selling.*

Reminds me of something I once posted about back in the day: Good luck finding that “pidgeon”.

And also, of something I haven’t posted about, but  keep meaning to:

I can forgive a typo like this. I kind of like the idea of one Mike Mills being too “burried” in romantic sentiment to spell it correctly… And yes, it’s mainly because, as I just discovered, HE DID THE COVER ARTWORK FOR ALL THOSE INCREDIBLE ‘AIR’ ALBUMS!

My gosh, how I adored (and still do adore) this album and its cover art:

In fact, I wholeheartedly believe we should all listen to it now, and “burry” ourselves in romantic sentiment. So very Virgin Suicides.

* Brilliant name, by the by.