Shad looks at the night sky

Do you ever look up at the twinkling stars shining against the black backdrop of the night sky and marvel at the secrets they hold?  It’s as though the stars are winking at earth, smiling coyly because they know something we don’t.  Is there an alternate universe containing another sleek black cat with satin-soft fur and an eye for the panache?!  Alright, I’m not so much sleek as I am portly, but I’m definitely got style!  Nevertheless, I am fascinated by the brightness of the stars, their contrast with the mysterious shadowy sky and the remarkable shapes they form.

 

Some of the most famous structures up there include the Big Dipper, Hercules and the constellation of Orion which contains a colossal star perhaps 1,000 times the diameter of the sun called Betelgeuse, a red supergiant nearing the end of its and waiting to go supernova.  Imagine that when it blows!  The explosion would be astronomical but probably wouldn’t be seen on earth for a few thousand years thanks to the unbelievably vast distances involved in space.

 

The mysteries of the night sky are part of their charm and so are the bright colours and exciting objects and events like comets, asteroids, black-holes, solar eclipses and interstellar dust.  John and I have spent many a chilly night outside gazing upwards with our cameras on stand-by, but taking photographs of space has its challenges such as cloud-cover and light-pollution.  Here we have captured some nice shots of full moons in all their splendour that illustrate the mountains and craters on its surface (that’s light bits and dark bits to you and me!)  The smooth dark patches on the moon are considered to be valleys where ancient lava flowed and many of these areas have names, most famously the Sea of Tranquility.

 

The moon is covered in impact craters perhaps because it has no atmosphere so it is unprotected from cosmic rays, meteorites and solar winds.  It has much weaker gravity than earth so if I lived up there I would only weigh about on sixth of my current weight.   I like the sound of that!  Plus the lack of atmosphere means no sound can be heard on the moon so I wouldn’t have to put up with John’s snoring!    But I would miss sharing the furnace-like heat that builds up under the duvet on a winter’s night and the treats I get for being adorable, so I think for now I’ll keep my paws on terra firma!

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