Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Gaze at the stars before it's too late

Even if you are prepared for a global catastrophe and an economic collapse and society falling into disarray by storing non-perishables and stashing ammo and having a bug-out bag, you've probably given the scenario some thought and concluded that generally, life is going to be more difficult post-collapse (if it weren't, then more people would be living the vagabond life!). But I think there is one thing that a post-collapse situation can give back to us, it's this:

The dark sky.

I think everyone should have the opportunity to see the sky as the earliest men saw them. Thousands upon thousands in the sky; blinking; unfiltered. People of the same tribe sitting around a dimming campfire, looking up at the endless possibilities of the universe and coming up with different stories about the constellations. Ursa major and Ursa minor: the bears; Cancer the crab; Orion the hunter. We gaze up upon the stars and something so peaceful and serene about it causes us to feel that we are meant to do something here on Earth. That we are a part of a bigger plan. 

Elon Musk's Starlink Satellites Threaten To Fill The Night Sky

Recently, Elon Musk's aerospace company SpaceX launched the first batch of satellites connected with the Starlink effort. It's an ambitious, entrepreneurial endeavor I think - he plans to send up to 42,000 satellites to space so that Internet signals could be bounced and beamed to almost any remote location on Earth. One could think about all the endless possibilities this could bring: from increased competition against traditional broadband Internet companies like Comcast and Centurylink, to commercial applications like providing wi-fi access to planes and cruise ships, to better exploration of remote areas and reduced chance of something getting lost or stranded. 

However, check out a video by Dr. Marco Langbroek, where he saw a "train" of Starlink satellites passing through the telescope lens. In order to reduce space debris, Elon had publicly said that the satellites would be even lower in the Earth's orbit than other similar satellites. It's hard to imagine seeing 42,000 of these all over the place when you look into the night sky!

If you haven't had the chance yet, I encourage you to use the Dark Sky Map to find a place closest to you that has good visibility into space and doesn't have too much light pollution. It'll be easier for you if you live in the midwest or if you live on the west coast, since there are many places around the Rockies and generally in the Mountain Time Zone that is relatively free of artificial light. If you're on the East Coast, it may be a little more difficult for you, but there should still be pockets of darkness that you can plan out a specific day with your family for. 

Find a day when the moon isn't very visible, and drive to one of the dark-sky places. Turn off the car lights and give your eyes as much as 30 minutes to adjust to the darkness, and marvel at the wonders of the universe before it's filled with artificial machines.


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