I am a native in this world And think in it as a native thinks

Tuesday, January 31, 2023

Astronomy Tuesday

Hey, where did all the stars go?

This frankly creepy image shows Barnard 68, a dark absorption nebula. These are clouds of dust and molecular gas which absorb the visible light emitted from background stars, creating the illusion of a hole in the skies.

Image Credit: FORS Team, 8.2-meter VLT Antu, ESO

Sunday, January 29, 2023

Sunday bird blogging

This one is a little blurry but the titmouse is still adorable.

Saturday, January 28, 2023

Saturday reflections

I don't love the new skinny spires that continue to take over Midtown; I think they throw the skyline out of balance and overshadow the shorter but lovelier buildings around them.

And that's enough Grumpy Old Lady for today, thank you. The lake in Central Park still produces lovely reflections of the skyline.

Friday, January 27, 2023

Urban poetry

You might guess that the people in this line, which snaked around three sides of a city block on the Upper East Side on a miserable day last week, must be trying to get Taylor Swift tickets or the latest iPhone. But they were actually lining up to go to a graduation—mine, and a few thousand of my closest friends.

Tuesday, January 24, 2023

Astronomy Tuesday

A new image from the Webb Telescope. This shows NGC 346, a star-forming region in our neighbor, the Small Magellanic Cloud. The Cloud has a composition similar to much older galaxies so by watching star formation there, scientists may learn how the process looked in the early universe. The Webb can get a much better look at the baby stars in this region than we've ever had before, including the clouds of dust around them which could eventually form planets.

Image Credits: NASA, ESA, CSA, O. Jones (UK ATC), G. De Marchi (ESTEC), and M. Meixner (USRA), with image processing by A. Pagan (STScI), N. Habel (USRA), L. Lenkic (USRA) and L. Chu (NASA/Ames)

Sunday, January 22, 2023

Sunday bird blogging

Another look at the red-tailed hawk from a few weeks ago.

This week I went to graduation, had my first job interview in many many years, and got the job. All good things, but I'm exhausted.

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Saturday reflections

A rather wintry and stark car reflection.

Sunday, January 15, 2023

Sunday bird blogging

All the leaves are brown (all the leaves are brown)
And the sky is gray (and the sky is gray)

That song was stuck in my head while I was walking in Central Park this afternoon. After decades on the East Coast, it still surprises me how unrelentingly brown the landscape becomes in winter. The sky wasn't actually gray today, for a change, and the temperatures were pleasant enough for January, but it was all still depressingly monochromatic.

But clearly that's why God invented cardinals.

Saturday, January 14, 2023

Saturday reflections

A winter evening reflected from the USS Intrepid, an old aircraft carrier turned museum at Pier 86 in Manhattan.

Tuesday, January 10, 2023

Astronomy Tuesday

I always love images of the Pleiades, but this one really shows off the blue reflection nebula surrounding the star cluster.

Image Credit and Copyright: Stefan Thrun

Sunday, January 8, 2023

Sunday bird blogging

A red-tailed hawk in Central Park this morning.

Hawks are fairly common in the park, but I usually see them up in the trees. This guy was hanging out on the ground, near the bird feeders in the Ramble. The titmice congregating nearby ignored him. (I assume it was a him; female red-tails look very similar to the males but are much larger.)

Saturday, January 7, 2023

Saturday reflections

A store window near Times Square this week.

Friday, January 6, 2023

I am half-sick of shadows, said the Lady of Shalott

It is unrelentingly gray and gloomy here; winter has barely arrived and I'm already tired of it. Tuesday I had jury duty, and though I had magazines and puzzles and my Kindle, I was bored and fidgety. It was raining but I went for a walk at lunch just to get some fresh air; I stepped on what looked like a wet patch of sidewalk and found myself ankle-deep in ice water. So I spent the afternoon bored and fidgety with cold wet feet.

Here's a pleasant memory from last summer: a Saturday market in San José. I skipped an all-day beach excursion to meet up with a friend. We ate arepas and bought fruit and listened to live music and then walked around the park. It was a lovely day.

Tuesday, January 3, 2023

Astronomy Tuesday

The massive type O star at the heart of the Dragon's Egg nebula created not only the planetary nebula in the center of this image, but also the blue halo surrounding it.

Image Credit and Copyright: Russell Croman

Sunday, January 1, 2023

Sunday bird blogging

Happy New Year!

This picture is from last winter—we haven't had any snow here yet—but I think a cardinal on a snowy day makes an excellent start to any year.

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