What does the night sky look like: Lay
What does the night sky look like: Lay: The latest Supreme Court shenanigans may not be as upsetting to those of us who understand that life is a symphony made up of alternating rhythms. With a shrug, we might predict that this will also change because things change.
The focus of this column, however, is on natural events rather than political events as The Night Sky approaches its 50th anniversary. The deepest rhythms, however, have never been examined at this time. Everyone is aware of solar patterns, such as the recent solstice, which brought about the greatest sunlight and the longest days of the year. Some people have already begun to notice the shortening of the days with astonishment. Despite a daily drop of less than a minute,
Because their food supply depends on solar patterns, all cultures have paid attention to them throughout history. The rhythms of the Moon came next, primarily the fact that its phases repeat every 2912 days, which is where the word “month” first appeared. Fewer people realised that the 10 lunations that make up the human gestation period roughly divide evenly, meaning that you typically were born during the same moon phase as when you were conceived. Additionally, only the opossum and humans share the 2912-day full-moon-to-full-moon period, which is eerily near to the human menstrual cycle. It makes sense that the Moon would be considered feminine in all languages that assigned gender to inanimate objects.
Much more is done by backyard astronomers. All the planets are currently clustered together in the east just before sunrise, and this fall, they will all be at their closest, brightest, and most handy (best seen around sunset). Autumn is hence for planets this year. extra rhythms
While some historical civilizations, like the Hebrews and early Native Americans, didn’t seem to care at all about such matters, others, including the Mayans, Babylonians, and ancient Greeks, performed astonishingly better. For instance, the Babylonians and Greeks discovered that 18 years plus 10 1/3 days after any type of eclipse, the same eclipse will occur again in the same region of the sky. This time frame was known as the Saros. They even observed that the same eclipse would occur over the same location three saroses, or 54 years plus one month, later when those three 1/3-day intervals added up. That period was known as the exeligmos.
They had done exceptionally well to detect it, given that 54 years was presumably a full human lifespan at the time. It’s unusual to meet someone nowadays who has even heard of the exeligmos.
But I certainly care about it. On March 7, 1970, over Virginia Beach, the most revered, breathtaking, and mind-blowing natural event—my first total solar eclipse—took place. The next total solar eclipse in that series will finally reach our territory on April 8, 2024, one exeligmos later, with your friend and scribe Bob being 54 years older.
The ancient Greeks likewise made a hopeless but desperate quest for patterns that may reveal the nature of the vast phenomenon we now refer to as the cosmos, life, or existence. Its nature was believed to be energy and matter that suddenly appeared out of nothingness 13.8 billion years ago by several bright physicists a century ago. However, by the 1930s, a new school of theorists had concluded that consciousness (the parade of experiences) was the most fundamental concept, or at least the only concept that seemed to be fundamentally independent of all other concepts. No matter how laborious the procedure or intricate the steps, it alone could not spontaneously arise out of nothing, unlike planets, stars, or even living forms.
And thus, at least according to a small group of theorists, this notion of an endless stream of experience has gradually come to represent the cosmos. I’ve said it several times on this page over the past year because I’m still processing it. Furthermore, when some of us grow older and begin to feel apprehensive about dying, it might not be a bad idea to reject the idea that we are nothing more than these bodies and follow in the footsteps of Nobel Prize winner Heisenberg, who became convinced that the true “me” is eternal consciousness. Therefore, death doesn’t exist.