Cosmic Thoughts – Winter
There’s something mystical about a winter’s night sky. Maybe it’s because you feel so much whilst you’re looking up at it. Your hands are turning from pale to bright pink as the blood pools hot and cold in your fingertips. You become much more aware of your cheeks. The wind is a cruel mistress: what in summer would be a welcome breeze is in winter a tormenting crown of thorns clamped over your exposed ears.
In the winter sky early in the evening the constellation of Orion seems to hang on its side, the great hunter tipped over by the icy breath of the Arctic depression. The sky is blessed to be clear, but it only makes it colder.
The great archer’s bow isn’t visible, it’s too high for me to see it. Betelguese and Rigel are twinkling, but I can’t see any difference between them with the naked aye, though I know Betelguese is bleeding red and unstable. While Rigel glows blue-white like a giant bath-bomb in the sky. I take off my glasses and they disappear, but they seem to flicker more this way.
I’ve unpacked the telescope, but I’m having trouble getting the accuracy I need. A star rushes into view and then out again, maybe that’s what they mean by the speed of light? I try, I try, I try, but light-years and milimetres aren’t converting. And it’s cold. I can’t ignore the cold. Even the dog has gone back to the warm and light of the house.
My eyes are better telescopes tonight. I’ll try again, I’ll try.