Monday, November 22, 2010

Why not the Moon?

Fly me to the Moon
Let me play among the stars
Let me see what spring is like
on Jupiter and Mars
In other words, hold my hand
In other words, baby, kiss me.

From: "Fly Me to the Moon," lyrics by Bart Howard (1954), recorded by Frank Sinatra (1964) for the album It Might as Well Be Swing with the Count Basie Orchestra, arranged by Quincy Jones.

How high the Moon?

Friday marked the 41st anniversary of Apollo 12 astronauts Pete Conrad and Alan Bean becoming the third and fourth humans to walk on the Moon as their Oceanus Procellarum (the "Ocean of Storms") landed on the lunar surface.  No longer unchartered space in the New Frontier, I guess man on the moon is a 20th century exploration ~ been there, done that. After all, we stopped sending our astronauts to the Moon in 1972.

Yet, those iconic images of man's first landing on the Moon, way back in 1969 ~ "The Eagle has landed" ~ will forever be with us.  Today, this isn't our grandfather's Moon.  Think of the technological clarity that exists now in the 21st century that didn't way back then. When Neil Armstrong first stepped onto the lunar surface, the video images were grainy at best and the audio transmission was extremely choppy.  Today, thanks to more modern satellite technology, the visuals that a Moon landing and walk on the lunar surface could produce would be stunning if not absolutely fabulous.

Tonight, there's a Full Moon in the sky ~ always a pretty sight on a crisp, clear night.  Last Thursday night, I couldn't help but spend a few minutes standing outside on our patio deck admiring a brightly lit, almost-Full Moon ~ and thinking to myself, for reasons neither philosophical or theological, but rather purely astronomical: "Why can't we revisit and explore the surface of the Moon?"

My watch read a quarter past six o'clock.  Although the conditions for viewing the Moon and gazing at the stars weren't picture perfect on that recent night ~ thanks to cloudy conditions that surrounded the Bay Area ~ still, I couldn't resist grabbing my digital camera to shoot some photographs of the Moon ... and dream.

In my dream on this imperfect night, the perfect voice of Frank Sinatra could be heard singing.

Why not the Moon?

Photographs of the Nov. 18, 2010 Moon by Michael Dickens, copyright 2010.

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