June 4, 2020

Astronomy Video of the Week: Astrophe

Yearning to break the surly bonds…

(photo by author).

Itís a feeling that every lover of space has sometimes.

Exploration of the cosmos is truly a final frontier, a place that often seems to be our logical destiny. But sometimes, thereís a persistent nagging at the back of our primate brains, a feeling that, just maybe, the learning curve is too steep, and maybe space is too hardÖ perhaps, this still unquiet voice says, the true reason that we never hear from alien civilizations is that this final crucible of leaving the planetary cradle is just too tough.

Thereís a word for that feeling: Astrophe.

Fittingly, it rhymes with catastrophe. †It is comes to us via our very latest YouTube addiction, The Dictionary of Obscure Sorrows. Hey, why should just the Germans have a word for everything?

On another related note, we lost a family member today. Maggie, aka Astrolab, passed away this morning. Dogs are great companions, and Maggie loved to stargaze, jog and enjoy a cheeseburger or three. Dogs are also great teachers, and can pick up cues that we humans frequently miss.† Iím also convinced that our 20,000 year plus partnership with canines enabled us not only to survive extinction in the last ice age, but dominate the planet as well. All this, simply for our loyalty and a free meal, as wild wolves became domesticated house pets. Weíll miss you, Maggie, and we firmly believe that as humans move on to finally conquer the stars, the Manís Best Friend will faithfully follow.

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