Thursday, September 24, 2009

Greetings to space

For the last four nights the International Space Station has been visible orbiting above our city at least once per night. For some inexplicable reason I've felt compelled to go out and watch every night. Tuesday night it made its earliest pass of the week, and I took the kids outside to watch.

It's little more than a bright light, a little brighter than Venus perhaps, traveling across the sky, fading in out of the sunset and fading out toward the east. I watched it with binoculars the first night, but it's simply too high for my birdwatching binoculars to help much.

But each night I've been out there watching that little bright point of light pass overhead. I've always been excited about space, I suppose, from the time my brother woke me up early one morning to watch the first space shuttle launch on TV. There is something inherently exciting about the idea of traveling out there in the void where distances quickly become mind-staggeringly meaningless, where there is barely anything at all, and where one slight misstep is not just dangerous, but fatal.

To the men and women who have served on the ISS, I salute you. And, given the chance, I keep a quiet vigil from my backyard. You'll never know it, but there is at least one pair of eyes in Idaho noting your passage in the night sky. God bless, and good night.

1 comment:

Annette said...

Merrill mentioned seeing the space station from where he is in Montana a couple of nights ago. He thought it was pretty cool too.