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Thursday, March 7, 2019

Flying with Mars

I used the Skyview Free app 
Lately, I have been obsessed with the night sky. I will admit that this is a phase that comes and goes. Once for Christmas, I asked for a telescope. And I rarely used it. Eventually, it made its way out of some random storage space to Goodwill. At least I think that is where it went. I just hope that some child (preferably a girl child) is enjoying it. Of course, now I sort of wish I had it. Sort of because it was a bit heavy and awkward to lug outside. And I never read the directions on how to use it properly. 

Fast forward to now. Now I routinely go outside and look at the night's sky. I am fascinated by the many stars and planets that appear. Some more regularly than others. My latest delight has been seeing Mars. Mars the red planet and the fourth planet from the sun. I actually saw it with my naked eye and it was red. It is called the "Red Planet" because iron minerals in the Martian dirt oxidize, or rust, causing the surface to look red. I thought that seeing Jupiter would be my highlight, but for some reason it was Mars

When I spotted it (with the assistance of some lovely free apps on my phone) I jumped up and down while screaming "I see Mars!" in my driveway. My neighbors may think that I am crazy since they rarely see me outside or at home. I could not contain my excitement. I saw Mars. It has been there in the sky my entire life and I am finally seeing it with my own eyes. 

Of course, there are other things out there as well, but currently, I am fixated on Mars. I cannot explain why. To my knowledge, I never had a favorite planet in whatever grade I learned about the solar system. Was that fifth grade? Or maybe third? And red is not my favorite color. It is orange so maybe close enough? Or maybe because I keep hearing about Mars retrograde and I was not even sure what that really meant until I just read the link. Huh, and wow, I guess. And there is the candy company.  You know, the world’s leading manufacturer of chocolate, chewing gum, mints, and fruity confections. 

Whether you share my fascination with the night sky or not, take time to glance up at it every now and then. Allow yourself to wonder at what lies beyond our grasp.