Sunday, August 4, 2013

And Now, All's Well...

Sunflowers - photo by theLibraryLander Family
“Love is anterior to life, posterior to death, initial of creation, and the exponent of breath.”
~ Emily Dickinson

And now a final dispatch from this blogger, after a year's worth of daily posts. It's been my unstated goal to post something every day for a year, some bit of wayward news or  trivia, something to kindle wonder or mild interest. I've tried to be positive and appreciative of small favors, as indicated by the name of this blog. I hope I've succeeded in that. Books and libraries are my vocation and leisure and I can't help but extol these at every opportunity. I'm also captivated by the Universe and its myriad wonders; one only has to contemplate its vastness and magnificence to become awestruck.
There may be another blog in the offing, though I have no idea what form it will take - it certainly won't have clockwork posts! Whatever shapes itself into being will come forth; I can only hope it will be as interesting and fun as the Empty Middle Seat has been. So, we'll have to wait and see what it is...

Sunrays by theLibraryLander

Friday, August 2, 2013

A Year of Sky on Earth

From APOD:
"Explanation: Each panel shows one day. With 360 movie panels, the sky over (almost) an entire year is shown in time lapse format as recorded by a video camera on the roof of the Exploratorium museum in San Francisco, California. The camera recorded an image every 10 seconds from before sunrise to after sunset and from mid-2009 to mid-2010. A time stamp showing the local time of day is provided on the lower right. The videos are arranged chronologically, with July 28 shown on the upper left, and January 1 located about about half way down. Although every day lasts 24 hours, daylight lasts longest in the northern hemisphere in June and the surrounding summer months, a fact which can be seen here as the bottom (and soon top) videos are the first to light up with dawn. The initial darkness in the middle depicts the delayed dawn and fewer daylight hours of winter. In the videos, darkness indicates night, blue depicts clear day, while gray portrays pervasive daytime cloud cover. Many videos show complex patterns of clouds moving across the camera's wide field as that day progresses. As the videos collectively end, sunset and then darkness descend first on the winter days just above the middle, and last on the mid-summer near the bottom."

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Spectacular Centaurus A

Centaurus A
ESO/WFI (Optical); MPIfR/ESO/APEX/A.Weiss et al. (Submillimetre); NASA/CXC/CfA/R.Kraft et al. (X-ray)
From APOD:

"Explanation: A fantastic jumble of young blue star clusters, gigantic glowing gas clouds, and imposing dark dust lanes surrounds the central region of the active galaxy Centaurus A. This image from the Hubble Space Telescope has been processed to present a natural color picture of this cosmic maelstrom. Infrared images from the Hubble have also shown that hidden at the center of this activity are what seem to be disks of matter spiraling into a black hole with a billion times the mass of the Sun. Centaurus A itself is apparently the result of a collision of two galaxies and the left over debris is steadily being consumed by the black hole. Astronomers believe that such black hole central engines generate the radio, X-ray, and gamma-ray energy radiated by Centaurus A and other active galaxies. But for an active galaxy Centaurus A is close, a mere 10 million light-years away, and is a relatively convenient laboratory for exploring these powerful sources of energy."