Our Magical Universe…

Dear Reader:

Isn’t the magic of God’s Creation, the universe, the greatest magical trick in the world…not just our own little world…but the many, many other worlds that make up the universe?

It is easy, during the day, to forget that the stars are still right where we left them the night before….we just can no longer see them. As a curious child two questions always followed any viewing of the stars for me. Most of the time the response (or non-response) came from an adult who didn’t know the answer to either question and they would simply nod that the questions were interesting but didn’t go any farther than a pat on the head. So finally when I got old enough to look it up…I discovered the answer to both questions.

Why can’t we see the stars during the day? (Without getting too technical)

Stars do glow during the day, but we can’t see them because of the glare of sunlight. When the sun is up, the blue color in sunlight gets scattered all over the atmosphere, turning the sky the familiar bright blue color. This blue light is much brighter than the faint light coming from the stars, so it prevents us from seeing them.

*If you were standing on the Moon, for instance, where there is no atmosphere, you would see the stars both day and night.

(Source: Ask an Astronomer)

With so many stars in the sky…why is the night sky still so dark?

There are a lot of stars out there—an estimated 70 billion trillion.With so many stars beaming their light our way, it seems only logical that the night sky would be as bright as day.

There is a lot of debate over which astronomer or physicist first figured out the answer to why the night sky remains so dark, in spite of the number of stars shining brightly…but this source might surprise you. Edgar Allen Poe!

…”According to the website of the American Museum of Natural History, the first plausible explanation for the paradox came in Eureka: A Prose Poem, an 1848 essay by Edgar Allen Poe.

As the museum’s website has it, Poe suggested that the universe simply isn’t old enough to fill the sky with light.

The universe may be infinite in size, he thought, but there hasn’t been enough time since the universe began for starlight, traveling at the speed of light, to reach us from the farthest reaches of space.

That turns out to be surprisingly close to the explanation given by present-day astronomers.

The simplest explanation goes like this:

Dr. Anil Chandra Seth,  assistant professor of physics and astronomy at the University of Utah in Salt Lake City, told The Huffington Post in an email: “There are a couple reasons the sky isn’t bright. First off, the universe is expanding and has a finite age; this means we can’t see galaxies infinitely far away (even if the universe is infinite). Also, the expansion means that light loses energy as it travels.”

In addition to these two reasons, Dr. Seth said some of the light emitted by all those stars is absorbed by interstellar dust in the Milky Way, the galaxy that contains our solar system.

“If it weren’t for dust,” he said, “the Milky Way would be much brighter in the sky.”

The last reason the night sky is mostly dark has to do with our human eyes’ insensitivity to the wavelengths of light that reach the Earth from the most distant stars.

(Source: Here’s Why The Night Sky Is Dark Even Though Jillions Of Stars Are Shining Light Our Way- David Freeman)

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Morning Glory bloom from the ground vines coming back from last year. * I think a fairy slept inside the bloom on the ground last night and forgot to turn out the magical light…don’t you?

My second Stokes Aster Daisy bud from another plant….bloomed beautifully yesterday. For me…every bloom is magical.

*Just as I was about the close down this blog entry around 7:30 last evening…something red caught my peripheral vision….Sammy had returned and was sitting on the high trellis above the moon flowers (that are just now starting to develop tendrils to begin climbing.) It was as if he was simply stopping by to wish me a good night. Life is all magical. (Looks like an abstract painting, Anne, because it was taken through the screen window by the computer and enlarged.)

*Look at our baby Eloise….growing in leaps and bounds…and staying just as happy as she can be! (Still loves sucking those fingers…no pacifier needed.)

About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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4 Responses to Our Magical Universe…

  1. The Morning Glory has the right name, for as I look at what appears to be light in the middle of the flowers, I see God’s glory shining through. Wonderful post.

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    • Becky Dingle says:

      How beautiful and you are so right…each bloom does look like an inner light is shining within…it truly is a morning “glory”! Thank you for that observation…I will always think about that when I look at a morning glory bloom! Have a wonderful day. Do update me on where you are in your acclimation in Portugal.

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      • We are home. I could not leave my children and grandchildren. We were to take another month, but came home after 43 days. What is funny is that I talked to two other women at the English-speaking church we attended in Portugal, one from Britain and one from, I think, Holland, and both said hat their husbands, like Douglas wanted to stay forever and move there, but as mothers, they felt drawn back to their children, just my argument. My youngest daughter, now 0, sent me a text pleading with me not to move so far with just Douglas and me, as they could not come to help us if one got sick. But, as much as I hated to burst Douglas’s desires, I could not leave my home, knowing that it would take over 24 to 48 hours to get to one of them in an emergency. I had never vacationed more than two weeks, so after 4 weeks, I needed to come home and see the familiar, hear English spoken, see the view from my windows, and talk to my family. We decided no vacation more than 3-4 weeks, but we will travel each year that God gives us the money and good health. I simply am a homebody, adn I have respect for the people who can leave home and hearth but I am not one of them. With my history of colon cancer, a pacemaker, and diabetes under control but still there, I feared getting sick and not having any help but Douglas. We learned some things also, like know the culture before you decide, so going was the best decision we made, rather than pack up and move. That’s why I asked for a compromise.

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  2. Becky Dingle says:

    What a great life lesson learned from this experience! I would definitely feel the same way…I love to travel…but not for too long…I miss home and family too much. I am not a great wanderer or adventurer either…a little goes a long way with me.

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