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A Prose-Poem on Saturn

  1. Oct 2, 2006 #1

    One of the most beautiful objects in the heavens is Saturn. It has 34 moons and one is called Titan, the second largest moon in our solar system. It was discovered in 1655, some 350 years ago. Beginning with Voyager 1 and Pioneer 11 in the late 1970s spacecraft have been taking photos of Saturn and its moons so that a great deal is now known about this planet and its systems. This is especially true since the most recent pass-over by the spacecraft Cassini in 2004 and the descent of the Huygens probe in 2005. A day on Titan is 16 Earth days.-Ron Price, “Internet Sites,” Pioneering Over Four Epochs, 26 September 2006.

    We were beginning to get
    a handle on Saturn and its
    34 moons just as that long
    Seven Year Plan started:
    getting launched back in ’79.

    We were just beginning all
    those buildings on the Arc,
    impressive tapestry of beauty,
    when that Saturn program
    had its start and the voyage
    to Titan was well on its way
    when an unfolding magnificence
    of Terraces was helping us enjoy
    a coherence of vision and action
    that defined portentous events
    cutting across the millennial divide.

    We were learning things on Earth and
    in the heavens that would shed light on
    centuries to come and lift us slowly from
    forecasts of doom and a slough of despond.

    Ron Price
    September 26th 2006.
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 2, 2006 #2

    One way to visualize the relative sizes in the solar system is to imagine a model in which it is reduced in size by a factor of a billion. Then the Earth is about 1.3 cm in diameter(the size of a grape). The Moon orbits a foot away. The Sun is 1.5 meters in diameter(the size of a man) and 150 meters from the Earth.(a city block) Jupiter is 15 cm in diameter(grapefruit) and 5 blocks away from the Sun. Saturn(an orange) is 10 blocks away; Uranus and Neptune(lemons) are 20 and 30 blocks away. A human being on this scale is the size of an atom; the nearest star is 9000 km away -Obtained from Internet, 02/03/96.

    On 4 October 1957 Sputnik, the world’s first artificial satellite was safely in orbit, circulating the Earth every 96 minutes. Five Orbiter spacecraft mapped the moon between August 1966 and December 1967. I finished my education, got married and pioneered to the Canadian Arctic that year. On 20 July 1969 the first man walked on the moon. Two years and two months later my wife and I left Canada for Australia. Sitting in our lounge room in Whyalla South Australia in the evening, felt like being on the moon. -Ron Price, 4 February 1996, Noon.

    Wilder than your wildest imagination,
    simply the most incredible reality
    in existence: existence, the universe
    in all its labyrinthian complexity.

    Wilder than your wildest imagination,
    simply the most incredible reality
    in existence: one’s own life, its days,
    its years in their labyrinthian complexity.

    1957 to 1997: forty years on
    in the great journey into space
    with missions to the furthest reaches
    of the solar system: Pioneers10 and 11.
    Astronomy taking off at last.

    Voyagers taking us to Jupiter,
    Uranus and Neptune.
    Light has gone around
    the planet and we have gone
    around the solar system.

    The radio galaxy 3C65
    in the constellation of Andromeda
    lies some 8 billion light years
    away, some say, in a universe
    that expands forever,
    dramatically less than a
    second after its birth.

    Just last week astronomers
    discovered 1500 galaxies
    whose light started its journey
    toward Earth five billion years ago.

    There are hurricanes
    three times the size of Earth,
    two-and-a-half billion miles away
    on Jupiter-itself a sea
    of liquid metallic hydrogen,
    home of thousands of mysteries,
    storms and chaos.
    Home of the ten hour day,
    home of four moons.
    A place you could fit in all the planets.
    Collector of comets,
    protector of our planet.

    Pioneering into the solar system,
    into my psycho-spiritual system
    into the global society
    with an emerging world religion.

    Ron Price
    4 February 1996
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