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the night sky is three-dimensional

The first time I truly understood this was on a summer road trip to the Oregon coast. Most of the journey south from Portland, after leaving I-5, takes you far from any significant human settlement. The forest still rules here, despite the occasional scar from a clearcutting operation.

Late at night, cresting over a ridge on Highway 42, I almost lost control of our faithful Firenza wagon as THE ENTIRE UNIVERSE came staggeringly into view. I had noticed the stars earlier, in brief glances between corkscrew turns, but now we were coasting down into a steep valley, and the horizon seemed to have dropped down 30 or 40 degrees to provide my father and I with our own private OMNIMAX theatre of the heavens.

All the spaces in between the bright stars were filled with other stars, and the Milky Way was plain as a road striping accident. But the most incredible part was the sense of immense distance as I realized I was looking at the very depths of space - not to mention time traveling millions of years to when the light was emitted from those distant galaxies...

This constitutes one of my only gripes with city life: the inability to experience this wonder to its fullest extent.


Night stars
spread across the horizon,
multicolored, blinking into the distance
both near and far

Night airplanes
high above,
flying east to west,
headed for the coast

Night clouds,
spread across the horizon,
grey, with white edges, floating by
with no direction home.


for moeyz

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