Tuesday, December 27, 2011

The Nearest Faraway Place

Hello to everyone!  Hope you all had a lovely Christmas and are looking forward to a brand new year!
Richard and I took the day off after Christmas and we spent another lovely day at Stone Mountain.   While we were hiking on the Cherokee Trail and because we had a heavy rain the night before, the smell of the pines was so intense and the air so clean and fresh, that it made me feel as if I was very far away, as if we had travelled a very long way to get to such a beautiful spot.  This made me think of a book: "The Nearest Faraway Place: Brian Wilson, The Beach Boys and the Southern Californian Experience".    Now, I really would love it if you would read that book and let me know what you think of it.  It goes into such detail, not just about  the genius of Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys, but also his family background and the whole history of Southern California.  Where can you go to that might not be too far from you but makes you feel as if you are very far away?

Tonight, Dec. 27th, did anyone notice the night sky? (It rained in the Atlanta area today and the skies tonight were very cloudy.)  Venus and the moon are very close together and you should have been able to see them in the sky looking south just before dark.  You might think that Venus is a star but it is, of course, a planet. At the moment, it is 11 times brighter than Sirius, the brightest star in the night sky. ( If you missed Venus and the moon, don't worry, just mark your calendar, because the two of them together will occur a month from now, on Jan. 25th and Jan. 26th.)  This pairing is called a conjunction in astonomical terms.
Currently, Venus is 123 million miles (197 million kilometers)  and the moon is 275,000 miles (379,000 kilometers) from the earth.    Just think, our naked eye can see a planet that is 123 million miles away.   Reading about Venus and the moon appearing together made me think of that phrase...the nearest faraway place...

  Would love to hear from anyone that noticed this in the sky and perhaps wondered about it...


  1. How amazing! I was just looking out at the night sky on our evening walk and noticed Venus next to the moon. I wasn't sure it was Venus, but now thanks to you, I do.

  2. Would I be able to see Venus too? I mean, from our night sky here in our country

  3. Kay,
    How amazing is that! So happy that you noticed it. My husband is the one who is very good with astronomy. He says to always look for it near sunset and sometimes near sunrise and it will be the brightest thing in the sky, it will be near the horizon. (Other than the moon, of course!)
    Thank you for your comment!

  4. Denise,
    Of course! Since you are on the other side of Earth, you will just see it later than I do! Also, look at my comment to Kay above to know where to look for Venus. Also, remember to mark your calendar for Jan. 25th and Jan. 26th, to see if you can see it with the moon on those dates. Hey, wouldn't it be wonderful if I have people all over the world united in just looking at the sky? Beauty to the world!
    Thanks so much for your comment!

  5. Thank you, Kay, I didn't know we're going to have another conjunction so soon again! Hopefully, the sky will be clear enough for me to observe it.

    The hike on Stone Mountain with the scent of the pines so strong must have been very good and stress-releasing, I imagine!

    For me, the nearest faraway place is a good book... I can lose myself almost completely in a good story or a fascinating topic and need to go no further than my own bed, which is my favourite reading place :-)

  6. what a neat post, kay. i have a midnight backyard sky that makes me feel like i am far away. i always feel like i am part of a larger whole when i look into that sky :^)

    brian wilsom! who knew?! i'll remember your recommendation

    happy new year to you ♥

  7. Librarian,
    Oh, I agree with you so much in going to other places inside a book! In fact, it reminds me of a cartoon which I hope to find!
    Are you interested in astronomy? Richard is the expert here in our house, I ask him questions all the time!

  8. kj,
    Lucky you to have a great big sky! Sometimes, my Dad, who lives further out in the country, will call and tell me to look outside at a meteor shower, but I won't be able to see it!
    That book that I recommended is one that I truly enjoyed. I love music and I love people who create it.
    Happy new year to you!

  9. Hi Kay, I'm a new follower!
    You married your English pen-pal :) How incredibly romantic!
    The night sky is an interest of mine as well - great info.

  10. Kay, yes, astronomy and the human exploration of space are two of my interests, one whole board of my bookshelf is devoted to it.

  11. Librarian,
    You know, you must have told me that at one time and I just forgot it...I seem to do that a lot lately.
    Have you ever seen the movie, "Apollo 13"? I have also read the book written by Jim Lovell, I can't remember the name of it but you could look it up just by his name. Both the movie and Jim's book are excellent!