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An Almost Eclipse of the Moon

Posted by Specola • Posted on 01/18/2020 at 12:16PM Photography See more by Specola

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

This composited series of images follows the Moon on January 10, the first Full Moon of 2020, in Hungarian skies. The lunar disk is in mid-eclipse at the center of the sequence though. It looks only slightly darker there as it passes through the light outer shadow or penumbra of planet Earth. In fact during this penumbral lunar eclipse the Moon almost crossed into the northern edge of Earth's dark central shadow or umbra. Subtle and hard to see, this penumbral lunar eclipse was the first of four lunar eclipses in 2020, all of which will be penumbral lunar eclipses.

Photo by Gyorgy Soponyai

I'm in the room.
You're there too.
I won't talk
unless you do.
There's no reason,
that is true.
Conversations, no kiss
except "what day is this?"
The TV listings
are her guide.
Lord, I don't know
what's now inside,
That beautiful mind
you always had,
Much smarter than me.
The loss of memory,
You're going through,
I can't imagine
what I would do.

I had joined the Naval Reserve
while in High School.
Went to meetings at night,
learned much and to do drills
and about all the rules in
the UCJ or Uniform Code of Justice,
as I recall.
Too much partying in College,
I needed to go on Active Duty.
It wasn't long and I had travel
authorized chits.
Over to Seattle, I went on the train,
out to the Naval pier by bus.
We were instructed to remove our clothes,
but keep on your socks and shoes.
Gave us a clipboard, with papers attached.
I was in line, we were going to get shots,
in each arm. Walked down the line,
with the clipboard in hand,
the only thing covering the sign of a Man.
But there is more to come.
I'll tell you soon.
More to tell you about
the shot over the Moon.

I was looking at her.
She looked my way.
I know not her name
Or if she wanted to play.
I loved her brown eyes
On this clear sunny day.
I walked over to talk
And ask of her name.
Would you go for a walk?
Would that be too lame?
A romantic interlude?
Oh I think not,
For our rendezvous
Was a grassy lot.
I rubbed behind her ear;
She liked it, I thought.
I patted her back,
It was so soft and dear.
I looked at her face
And her sad, lonely eyes
Knowing at a glance,
There was no reprise.
I loved this small dog,
For this did endear,
A love of this girl
Who was meant for me.

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Apollo 17: A Stereo View from Lunar Orbit

Posted by Specola • Posted on 01/17/2020 at 12:16PM Photography See more by Specola

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

Get out your red/blue glasses and check out this awesome stereo view of another world. The scene was recorded by Apollo 17 mission commander Eugene Cernan on December 11, 1972, one orbit before descending to land on the Moon. The stereo anaglyph was assembled from two photographs (AS17-147-22465, AS17-147-22466) captured from his vantage point on board the Lunar Module Challenger as he and Dr. Harrison Schmitt flew over Apollo 17's landing site in the Taurus-Littrow Valley. The broad, sunlit face of the mountain dubbed South Massif rises near the center of the frame, above the dark floor of Taurus-Littrow to its left. Beyond the mountains, toward the lunar limb, lies the Moon's Mare Serenitatis. Piloted by Ron Evans, the Command Module America is visible in orbit in the foreground against the South Massif's peak.

Playing soccer, many years ago.
I received a pass and off I'd go.
Dribbling the ball, I planted my foot;
Turning my body, my right foot in the air,
going to pass the ball downfield to my
mate, when I was hit in the back
by a defender, who was late.
My right foot was coming down,
the toe hit the ground; I heard a "SNAP",
fell to the ground and probably said "Crap".
I hobbled off the field to the sidelines again,
sat down with a number of friends.
My right foot was hurting, I unlaced my shoe
and the sock on that foot started to swell.
It puffed up and hurt real bad,
so some of the boys, helped me to my car.
An automatic, helped me a lot
and I drove home, staying in the car.
I honked the horn, my wife came to see
why I was honking. I said I think I broke
my leg. Our neighbor was an Orthopedic Doc.
My wife went and talked to Dr Bill. He came
to the car. He drove me to his office
and put me in a U shaped cast to allow
room for the swelling. He gave me a prescription;
we went to the drugstore and got some crutches.
There is more to tell about this adventure of mine
but I will wait until another time.

Playing with my Cousins,
in our Grandfather's yard.
Running fast, on bare feet,
for it was our thing,
Then I stepped on something.
Ouch! A Bee sting.
Down to the creek; mix up some mud.
Put it on the sting in a big gob.
Laying in the Sun, the mud baking hard.
That was just another day in the yard.
Go back to the creek, wash off the dirt,
test out your foot, it no longer hurt.

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NGC 247 and Friends

Posted by Specola • Posted on 01/16/2020 at 12:16PM Photography See more by Specola

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

About 70,000 light-years across, NGC 247 is a spiral galaxy smaller than our Milky Way. Measured to be only 11 million light-years distant it is nearby though. Tilted nearly edge-on as seen from our perspective, it dominates this telescopic field of view toward the southern constellation Cetus. The pronounced void on one side of the galaxy's disk recalls for some its popular name, the Needle's Eye galaxy. Many background galaxies are visible in this sharp galaxy portrait, including the remarkable string of four galaxies just below and left of NGC 247 known as Burbidge's Chain. Burbidge's Chain galaxies are about 300 million light-years distant. NGC 247 itself is part of the Sculptor Group of galaxies along with the shiny spiral NGC 253.

Photo by Eric Benson

As I sit here, at darkest night;
Memories from years gone by,
About meeting my wife
For the very first time.
It wasn't at a social function
Or in a bar.
My friend, Frank and I
Were in his car,
And tried to pick up these two,
Ellensburg girls. Of course they
ignored us, the two country bumpkins,
From another school. We left then,
Away, in a roar.
I didn't see her again, until Frank and I
Went to a dance, at the YMCA.
The music was playing; we wanted to dance.
I walked over to her and said, "Would
You like to dance?".
She said Yes, my heart did a flutter.
A few dances more, on that glorious night;
It was then I realized that I was smitten.
What a wonderful memory. Remembering, I can
Unfortunately, she doesn't remember at all.
No matter what, I will always recall
That wonderful night when we said hello.

I'm telling you the truth.
To you I won't lie,
but this journey here
brings forth a deep sigh.
A sigh of relief,
a sigh of joy,
a time when I said "Ahoy."
Anchors aweigh, don't you see,
when I joined the US Navy
and then went to sea,
on board an Destroyer Escort,
life was never harsh,
for I was a crewman
on the USS Marsh.
Over the water, Pearl Harbor we went,
free of charge, cost not a cent.
Many a Port visit we did,
of that news I would not kid.
One year the trip far away
to Truk Island, Bikini and Ponape.
The tropics were nice not the least icky
so long as you like your skin sticky.

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Iridescent Clouds over Sweden

Posted by Specola • Posted on 01/15/2020 at 12:16PM Photography See more by Specola

NASA Astronomy Picture of the Day:

Why would these clouds multi-colored? A relatively rare phenomenon in clouds known as iridescence can bring up unusual colors vividly or even a whole spectrum of colors simultaneously. These polar stratospheric clouds clouds, also known as nacreous and mother-of-pearl clouds, are formed of small water droplets of nearly uniform size. When the Sun is in the right position and, typically, hidden from direct view, these thin clouds can be seen significantly diffracting sunlight in a nearly coherent manner, with different colors being deflected by different amounts. Therefore, different colors will come to the observer from slightly different directions. Many clouds start with uniform regions that could show iridescence but quickly become too thick, too mixed, or too angularly far from the Sun to exhibit striking colors. The featured image and an accompanying video were taken late last year over Ostersund, Sweden. Follow APOD in English on: Instagram, Facebook, Reddit, or Twitter

Photo by Goran Strand

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