tablesaw: Gaff, from <cite>Blade Runner</cite> (Gaff)
Psyche wanted to see the Perseid meteor shower last night. Her original plan was to see what was going on in the Griffith Park Observatory, but they aren't doing anything special for the showers, and the park closes at about 10:30, anyway. So instead we drove out to Antelope Valley to find a quiet spot in the desert to watch the stars.

We did the teenager-in-the-movies thing and lay down on the hood of her car to watch the sky. (It turns out that the engine can stay pretty hot for a while, so it's not always the best idea.) We got a pretty good showing of meteor, a number of small shooting stars, and a few big enough to leave afterimages. We talked about how we were into space as children.

We were far enough out of LA to get a real look at the sky, clear enough to remember again what the Milky Way looks like. And when we looked around, we could see the various "sunrises," where the light came up from places beyond the horizon and made the sky and clouds gray to the south.

In the starless sky of a city, it's easy to think about space what we now know it to be, an endless expanse of void. But under the bountiful sky, I saw so many things, and each one felt so close: a slightly vaulted ceiling, I might reach if I stretched just a bit more.

When we got back to Hollywood, Psyche asked if her eyes were all right, because the sky had a slightly purple tinge. No, I said, that's just what it looks like here. And when there are low clouds, it can get even pinker, like the sun is always just setting. I think that's amazing too, but I'm glad she asked me to go out, because it's been so long since I really saw the stars.

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August 2017

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