Milky Way at 4:30 AM


Mountain hot springs.  Soaked.  Ate a late dinner and went to bed, sleeping erratically.  Some hours later, a voice:

“Hey, it’s 4:30.”

“Great.  Let’s do this.”

We bundle into robes and step outside and…

There it is: The Milky Way, arching out low over the eastern horizon from Scorpio in the south to Cassiopeia in the north.  A dense river of stars.  And all around it, in every direction, all the other kajillion stars in the whole galaxy (well, that’s how it felt) plus a pale yellowish Saturn.

Scorpio rears up tall, HUGE, its nasty stinging tail dangling low to the horizon, its  Antares-heart glowing red.  Just to the scorpion’s left is the Sagittarius “teapot” asterism, also huge.

Back in my art history classes, we saw every artwork the size of a slide screen – and then later got of the shock of realizing how petite most Paul Klee paintings really are, and how massive and over-powering the Sistine Chapel ceiling really is.

We see constellations in books and in software programs, constrained in size.  In reality, they’re vast.

The sheer size of this mountain night sky is overwhelming, breath-taking, awe-filled, exciting.  How can I go back to sleep after this?

But I do, seeing something like an after-image of this Milky Way arch across the room’s pitch-black ceiling before I drop of to sleep.

This is my church.


Image of Scorpio, the Milky Way and the Teapot from the Starry Night astronomy program.



2 thoughts on “Milky Way at 4:30 AM

  1. Pingback: How the Milky Way Makes You Feel Alive – ABBY J. REED

  2. Pingback: How the Milky Way Makes You Feel Alive | Abby J Reed

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