Venus and Jupiter are so close they could hold hands in the western sky just now, and look beautiful. Apparently they are actually five times further away from each other than Earth is from the Sun, but that doesn’t matter. To my primitive little peasant mind they are close together and they fill my heart with joy. I wish we could enjoy the sky at night as the ancients did. We will never see the stars with such clarity as they did, due to all our centuries of pollution. However in The Gambia a few years ago I saw stars of the like I’d never seen anywhere else. They were great psychedelic spinning circles of luminosity, which almost produced a trance like state as you lay down and looked up at them. It was too hot to sleep inside anyway. This is the kind of free gift, given only to the poorest and remotest, where there is no electricity, and yet you can read a book by starlight. Astronomy is so obviously the natural religion of humanity, as it immediately connects you with the vast and unknowable universe. I am a shoo-in for this sort of thing. I still watch Voyager with huge enjoyment. I know, – unbelievably sad.
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