Archives: Space

A Starlit Sky

There are a great many things that are very different for me since I moved from the hectic confines of Baltimore to the quieter, slower paced calm of St. Joseph and the Midwest.  There are a great many things, too, that I took for granted when I lived in Baltimore… being able to get anywhere without a car, 24 hour stores not named Walmart, Sub Shops, the ocean (no matter how stinky it might be) oh and of course:  Royal Farms fries.  But today I’d like to talk a bit about something that my neighbors here in the Midwest take for granted and something for which I am constantly grateful to be able to experience on a regular basis.

The Night’s Sky.

Get out of the city every once in a while to really see the night's sky.

Get out of the city every once in a while to really see the night’s sky.

When living in even a small city, the light pollution, while often beautiful especially during a storm, can make the night’s sky seem cold, dark and lightless. I discovered many years ago while in another part of the rural Midwest with my wife and a friend that the night’s sky is not cold, dark, and lightless at all. We were out there for a wedding and our friend Kyle was driving us back to his home where we were staying.  It was the middle of summer, but later at night so it was quite dark.  Liz asked him to pull over so that we could look at the sky.  So that she could share it with me.  It was the first time that I had ever seen that starry expanse and experience it in what my limited mind would call “All its Glory.” The stars just kept going and going, and through it all, in between all of the stars, there was this beautiful blue hue.  This haze that seemed to me to be the star dust of distant solar systems mingling together and I could only see it in this beautiful way because I was so far away.

I pride myself on having been able to point out constellations in the night’s sky to my peers when I was in high school, or later when I worked as a laborer in this job or that.  My fellow students and coworkers did not often look up at the night’s sky.  I feel that many in Baltimore and in cities like it don’t often look up and this makes me kind of sad, so I used to take every opportunity I could to point up.  More often than not they were unimpressed and often times mockingly so.  I could not fathom why they didn’t have a greater sense of wonder at the concept of heavenly bodies.  Not until I saw the true night’s sky.  See, to a person in a city, even being able to see a constellation isn’t that big a deal ( I suppose) because it’s only a handful of stars in an otherwise pitch black sky.  The lights of the city are all around you and in their own way, quite beautiful, so why bother looking up at some tiny pin prick of light that isn’t even that bright anyway?  If my peers could see what I had seen those years ago on that stretch of rural country road in Iowa, they might think very differently.

I admit that I do not look up into the true night’s sky as often as I should, or even as often as I’d like.  I get distracted with this or that human endeavor — video games, tv series, trying to write a book — and I miss the natural beauty that is above is at all times.  Every once in a while I ask my wife to drive me out into the middle of nowhere, so that we both can spend an hour or so just looking up.  I encourage any you to do this, too.  Even if it is difficult, find a way to get out past the lights of the metropolitan world, a way to escape the constant pull of the day-to-day hum drum of being human, and look up.  It will be good for your soul.

What does the night’s sky look like where you are?

Do you see the stars?  Do you see the darkness?  Do you see neither?  Share your wisdom.  Tell me your experiences and thoughts in the comment below.  Thank you for reading and as always, have a wonderful day.

Black Holes

One of the fascinating aspects of the story of The White Wolf and The Darkness is that the Dark Star space station is orbiting a black hole. The Dark Star is there to observe and research all data coming out of and going into the singularity.


This is an image of a monstrous black hole 100 million times the size of our sun. it is located at the center of galaxy NGC 1097, 50 million light years away. Contrary to popular belief, and their own names, most black holes (or at least the effects of them) are quite visible and are often quite beautiful to look at.

This is an artist’s rendition of a primordial black hole. You might ask what exactly that is. Well, a primordial black hole is a hypothetical type of black hole that is formed not by the gravitational collapse of a large star but by the extreme density of matter present during the universe’s early expansion. This would make a primordial black hole one of the oldest things in the universe, which is why I chose it as the setting for this story.

Photo from NASA via Flickr Stream

Photo from NASA via Flickr Stream

This photo features another super-massive black hole. The X-Ray jet spewing into the upper left-hand side of the image extends over 13,000 light years from the singularity itself and is traveling at about half the speed of light. Oh! That reminds me, in case you were wondering: none of the ships in the Soul Star Galaxy actually travel faster than the speed of light. They use a magical method of transit known as apportation, which instantaneously moves an object through a localized portal from one point in space to another.

Dr. John A. Zoidberg of Futurama falling into a black hole. Image Source

Dr. John A. Zoidberg of Futurama falling into a black hole. Image Source

And finally, here is an image of a giant Zoidberg falling into a black hole for you to laugh at. Hmmm…. maybe it’s a regular Zoidberg falling into a miniscule black hole. Either way it is one of the last images I expected to find while looking for pictures of black holes. Hurray internets!

Do you have opinions on black holes?


Do you have strong feelings for other heavenly bodies? Am I, in fact wrong above and if so would you like to inform me of this horrendous error in full internet fashion? Do you just want to make a Zoidberg go down the hole joke? If so, then please leave a comment below! Thanks for reading and as always, have a wonderful day!