Picnic under the stars

As I mentioned in my last post about “Sora Girl (Space Girl)”, it was so fun to visit space-related facilities in Gunma and to talk to various experts and space enthusiasts. I couldn’t feature everyone’s comments due to limitations of space (of article :), but it was inspiring to know that each of them has their own ideas and way to enjoy night sky…

“Space Souvenir” I got.
Space food (Chocolate cake) and Space Curry that astronauts actually eat.

Gunma-ken is fairly blessed with beautiful night sky all year around, and in winter, it’s tough to spot particular constellation because there’s too many stars. (Not sure why though, it could be climate or just because it’s easy to get away from lightings..) One of the experts from Tokyo told me “people here are not aware of how lucky they are” :) Well… that’s true. For one, I didn’t realize that either until I left Gunma…

When I moved to Tokyo, I was surprised how bright the night is; Colorful neon lights are never turned off, a stream of cars runs without a pause, and shops are open 24h. I was actually very excited to have dark-less night right after I moved in, saying “Yeaaahh, this is so-called urban life!!” (Forgive me I was just 18, though I still say this pretty much every time I go somewhere new.) However after some time, I started to feel uneasy and suffocated in it.

Looking back, probably it was not just about night without starry sky. It was also something to do with homesick or nostalgia, or a sense of failure that every country mouse would feel… all these mixed-up blue. But at that time, I believed the reason was lack of “proper night” and went to local planetarium every week, looking for night sky.
I know it’s an artificial night and space, and it wasn’t even a high-tech facility (meaning, I could see the line of ceiling), but I remember I felt so relieved when it gets dark and stars appeared. 

I got this one too: “Space ruler”!!! :D
The other side shows the distance of the solar system.

“Compare to the vastness of universe, I feel my worries are nothing.”
I heard this comment very often while I was researching this “Sora-Girl” article. They all somewhat blushed and say this comment with a shy smile (like “sorry for giving you a predictable comment...”) but I do too feel that way. :)

When we are busy with everyday life, it’s easy to get lost and consider the society or community we’re currently in as a “whole world”. Say, your “everybody” may mean just “every people in your office” or even, “people you can see from your desk”. But I guess it’s important to switch our viewpoint sometimes. Like Google Earth… (you know, starting from where you are and going up… here’s your city, here’s your country, here’s your planet, and here’s the solar system.. and oh, still going up and still no ending… those super high-angle view.)

Doing this probably won’t make your concerns disappear. But you may be able to find something or hint to solve them by looking at it from different point of view. …You may realize that it was in fact YOU who’s creating the bothersome rules and narrowing your world, for example… (I’m telling it to myself as I write this…)

One day, we’ll have a “Lonely Planet” for Moon :)

I’d like to share a beautiful comment I got from a researcher at the observatory:
 “When you look up at the night sky while feeling the wind, smell and sound of nature, you’ll have the moment to realize that you’re a part of this universe.”

Wherever you are right now, I hope you’ll enjoy the moment like this.  
Let’s take a deep breath underneath the stars tonight… :)


Here’s my favorite. A video of SpaceX launching their rocket. We can watch until the dragon (spacecraft) is in orbit of ISS. It’s amazing to know that it’s possible to have this clear video and moreover, the fact that it took only 10minutes freaks me out…

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