Thursday, August 16, 2012

Things Ultrarunners Know: Astronomy

Here's the third installment of Things Ultrarunners Know.  I previously posted on Things Ultrarunners Know: Astronomy here.

In the big picture, if you are a serious Ultrarunner, you will be doing some of your running at night.  And if you know something about astronomy you will be fascinated for hours at what you can see with the naked eye.

The most basic is the moon and its phases.  I find that I am particularly aware of when the full moon is, and whether the lunar phase is waxing (gettign bigger as it heads towards full) or waning (getting smaller as it heads towards the new moon)

I've posted a lot about things pertaining to the heavens. If you scroll down to the lower right, to the SEARCH box, and type in astronomy, you'll get a number of hits.

Science aside, my favorite philosophical astromomy post is this one about Walt Whitman, here:

   When I Heard the Learned Astronomer
   When I heard the learn'd astronomer,
   When the proofs, the figures, were ranged in columns before me,
   When I was shown the charts and diagrams to add, divide, and measure   them,
   When I sitting heard the astronomer where he lectured with much applause in the lecture-room,
   How soon unaccountable I became tired and sick,
   Till rising and gliding out I wander'd off by myself,
   In the mystical moist night-air, and from time to time,
   Look'd up in perfect silence at the stars.

By the way, the Perseids meteor shower is upon us, with the peak expected to occur the night of 12 August.

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