Thursday, December 20, 2007

Singing stars and Mars

‘Tis that time of year when carolers begin to roam the neighborhood, looking for a little Wassail or Figgy Pudding. I believe this group was performing O Holy Night…

And according to astronomers, Mars will outshine Rudolph’s nose this Christmas Eve. Mars is orbiting close to earth right now and will be directly opposite of the sun, which greatly increases its luminosity. "It will outshine the brightest star, and won’t be this noticeable again for nine years," says Jack Horkheimer (the "Star Gazer" guy on PBS).

So, now that the clouds have cleared from our recent rain, we’ll have to go out and look upwards, to the heavens on Christmas Eve, search for a familiar red glow…

* * * ** ** ** * * *** * * * *** * *
Mars is a red-tinged planet
With a very shiny glow
And if you look to see it
You will find the moon in tow.

All of the other Yuletides
Santa would have at his side
The shiny nose of Rudolph
Acting as his big sleigh's guide

But this very Christmas Eve
Santa came to say:
"Rudolph, now with Mars so bright,
You can stay at home tonight."

Then all the reindeer teased him.
And they shouted out with glee:
"Rudolph, the red-nosed reindeer
Outsourced to astronomy."
--Jack Horkheimer

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