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Into the sunset, he did flee,
as if there was something chasing he.
Where to go? Where could he hide?
For he needed shelter, for this ride.
Nervous was he, this lonely man,
running away without a plan.
What must I do to start over,
for I am now very much sober.
I'm just a poor man, all alone,
out on the street, not even a phone.
There was a time when I'd share,
a place with Rats, under the stair.
I did not choose to be this way,
but hard times came on that day.
I'd get a job, using my finesse
but the employer need an address.
Housing is not something I can pursue,
so a PO Box will have to do.

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Spiral Galaxy NGC 6744

Posted by Specola • Posted on 12/05/2019 at 12:16PM Photography See more by Specola

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

Beautiful spiral galaxy NGC 6744 is nearly 175,000 light-years across, larger than our own Milky Way. It lies some 30 million light-years distant in the southern constellation Pavo and appears as only a faint, extended object in small telescopes. We see the disk of the nearby island universe tilted towards our line of sight in this remarkably detailed galaxy portrait, a telescopic view that spans an area about the angular size of a full moon. In it, the giant galaxy's elongated yellowish core is dominated by the light from old, cool stars. Beyond the core, grand spiral arms are filled with young blue star clusters and speckled with pinkish star forming regions. An extended arm sweeps past a smaller satellite galaxy (NGC 6744A) at the lower right. NGC 6744's galactic companion is reminiscent of the Milky Way's satellite galaxy the Large Magellanic Cloud.

Photo by Zhuokai Liu

Always interesting when entering
the house and forgetting
to turn off the alarm.
As the alarm was squawking at me,
I was yelling at the alarm.
Probably something like who
the heck are your parents, et al.
The alarm stopped it's siren noise,
after I entered the pass code,
and received a call from a lovely
person at the Alarm Company, that
wanted to know if we were OK.
After I explained my memory lapse,
she asked for my password, which I supplied.
A very polite, Customer Service Representative
who was patient and understanding of
this old, forgetful person.

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Electric Night

Posted by Specola • Posted on 12/04/2019 at 12:16PM Photography See more by Specola

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

It may appear, at first, like the Galaxy is producing the lightning, but really it's the Earth. The featured nighttime landscape was taken from a southern tip of the Italian Island of Sardinia in early June. The foreground rocks and shrubs are near the famous Capo Spartivento Lighthouse, and the camera is pointed south toward Algeria in Africa. In the distance, across the Mediterranean Sea, a thunderstorm is threatening, with several electric lightning strokes caught together during this 25-second wide-angle exposure. Much farther in the distance, strewn about the sky, are hundreds of stars in the neighborhood of our Sun in the Milky Way Galaxy. Farthest away, and slanting down from the upper left, are billions of stars that together compose the central band of our Milky Way. Free Lecture: APOD editor to speak in NYC on January 3

Photo by Ivan Pedretti

At 1:30 AM on November 20th, I stood in a puddle, not quite sure if I’d peed myself or my water broke. The nurse on Overlake Hospital’s Labor & Delivery line had me lean forward a cough. The puddle grew bigger. It was go-time.

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Carl • 12/04/2019 at 06:34PM • Like

Congratulations Mikaela and thank you for sharing Penellope Marie's birth story.

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M27: The Dumbbell Nebula

Posted by Specola • Posted on 12/03/2019 at 12:16PM Photography See more by Specola

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

Is this what will become of our Sun? Quite possibly. The first hint of our Sun's future was discovered inadvertently in 1764. At that time, Charles Messier was compiling a list of diffuse objects not to be confused with comets. The 27th object on Messier's list, now known as M27 or the Dumbbell Nebula, is a planetary nebula, the type of nebula our Sun will produce when nuclear fusion stops in its core. M27 is one of the brightest planetary nebulae on the sky, and can be seen toward the constellation of the Fox (Vulpecula) with binoculars. It takes light about 1000 years to reach us from M27, featured here in colors emitted by hydrogen and oxygen. Understanding the physics and significance of M27 was well beyond 18th century science. Even today, many things remain mysterious about bipolar planetary nebula like M27, including the physical mechanism that expels a low-mass star's gaseous outer-envelope, leaving an X-ray hot white dwarf. APOD across world languages: Arabic, Catalan, Chinese (Beijing), Chinese (Taiwan), Croatian, Czech, Dutch, Farsi, French, French, German, Hebrew, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Montenegrin, Polish, Russian, Serbian, Slovenian, Spanish and Ukrainian

Photo by Steve Mazlin

Walking along the bank
of a small stream.
Ice crystals have formed
at the edge of the rushing
current. Remarkable
ice with multi-patterns
over rock and soil.
A lonely Crow squawks
up ahead. Unusual as
the Crows are in pairs.
A low hanging fog,
silences the sounds of
of moving water. All is
quiet now. Where are you
Crow?

Fog

Posted by MFishView Profile Posted on 12/02/2019 at 09:51PM Other See more by MFish

The thickest fog.
The sound of a dog,
barking in the muted light.
Early morning hours;
others in bed.
The silence eerie.
No echo of noise.
No matter what I
say or do,
my thoughts keep
coming back to you.
You, the one with
sparkling eyes,
were certainly a prize,
for your elegance
of your smile,
will last for another mile.

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Mercury Crosses a Quiet Sun

Posted by Specola • Posted on 12/02/2019 at 12:16PM Photography See more by Specola

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

What's that black dot crossing the Sun? The planet Mercury. Mercury usually passes over or under the Sun, as seen from Earth, but last month the Solar System's innermost planet appeared to go just about straight across the middle. Although witnessed by planet admirers across the globe, a particularly clear view was captured by the Solar Dynamics Observatory (SDO) in Earth orbit. The featured video was captured by the SDO's HMI instrument in a broad range of visible light, and compresses the 5 1/2 hour transit into about 13 seconds. The background Sun was unusually quiet -- even for being near Solar Minimum -- and showed no sunspots. The next solar transit by Mercury will occur in 2032.

Walking back from the Naneum Creek
through waist high grass.
It was a warm, sunny day and
fishing hadn't been successful.
I had seen a dead Rattlesnake,
about 3 feet long, next to the creek bed,
so I had that thought in my mind.
I decided that I would walk out through
the grassy field, toward the road
where the truck was parked.
As I started to take a step, looking down,
I thought I saw a snake. I swear to this day
that I bounced into the air and cleared
that spot with my feet hardly touching the ground.
My heart was racing and I felt relieved as
I got to the road, entered the truck
and drove back to Ellensburg.

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Starburst Galaxy M94 from Hubble

Posted by Specola • Posted on 12/01/2019 at 12:16PM Photography See more by Specola

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

Why does this galaxy have a ring of bright blue stars? Beautiful island universe Messier 94 lies a mere 15 million light-years distant in the northern constellation of the Hunting Dogs (Canes Venatici). A popular target for Earth-based astronomers, the face-on spiral galaxy is about 30,000 light-years across, with spiral arms sweeping through the outskirts of its broad disk. But this Hubble Space Telescope field of view spans about 7,000 light-years across M94's central region. The featured close-up highlights the galaxy's compact, bright nucleus, prominent inner dust lanes, and the remarkable bluish ring of young massive stars. The ring stars are all likely less than 10 million years old, indicating that M94 is a starburst galaxy that is experiencing an epoch of rapid star formation from inspiring gas. The circular ripple of blue stars is likely a wave propagating outward, having been triggered by the gravity and rotation of a oval matter distributions. Because M94 is relatively nearby, astronomers can better explore details of its starburst ring. Astrophysicists: Browse 2,000+ codes in the Astrophysics Source Code Library

Photo by ESA/HubbleNASA

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