The Unfolding

The Curfew tolls the knell of parting day,  

  The lowing herd wind slowly o'er the lea,  

The plowman homeward plods his weary way,  

  And leaves the world to darkness and to me.

        — Thomas Gray

I am sitting on a patio in New Mexico. It is early spring and late afternoon.
Trees and grass shoots have that new green. There is a warm breeze on my face.
Next, our star the Sun sets and makes the famous New Mexico twilight.
Gradually the day quietens, the sky darkens, and other things appear in the sky:
First, the wanderers - the planets, next the brightest stars, and finally, as the air begins to cool,
the sky turns deep velvet and
overhead … countless stars of  our Milky Way Galaxy unfold:

From the Sloan Digital sky Survey: These are not stars, but galaxies - each containing billiions of stars.

Had I the heavens’ embroidered cloths,

Enwrought with golden and silver light,

The blue and the dim and the dark cloths

Of night and light and the half light,

I would spread the cloths under your feet:

But I, being poor, have only my dreams;

I have spread my dreams under your feet;

Tread softly because you tread on my dreams.

   — W. B. Yeats

Planets and Galaxies, Drama and Storms:

If the stars should appear but one night every thousand years,  
how man would marvel and stare. -- Emerson

What do they have to tell us ? What have they seen ??

       - these our starry companions through time and space? 

 - Did they see the iron pounding in our blood forged in the stars before our sun? 
 - Did they find lucky little Earth hiding in a quiet corner? 
 - And did they see the cosmic winds
         — wandering among the stars like sowers with bags of seeds
         — sprinkling down upon Earth the beginnings of life?

To answer our questions, here is an overview of where I hope to take us: 

1 - Our first task: to survey the science of the last five hundred years, since Columbus crossed the Atlantic. This will give us a shared vocabulary to investigate our other goals together. If you have a science background, you may want to skim along here. 
  —   I call this The Journey.

2 - Our second task: To clean house, discarding much of what we have been taught, about what we are and how we got here. We eventually come back with what we have both  learned and unlearned. 
   — I  call this The Return

3 - Our third task: To build a new worldview, we now turn within. Oddly, we will find that we need both science and myth to build a bridge to the stars.
  — I call this - Deep Within.


FYI, about the VLA, since many often ask me how I came to be here:

VLA = Very Large Array radio telescope


Click for a full size image in a separate window. Many images on this site will do this. Try clicking.

The VLA - Very Large Array of the National Radio Astronomy Observatory - NRAO
- In New Mexico about 50 miles west of where I am writing this in Socorro, NM.

 I orginally came to New Mexico to work on software for a new telesccope for the NRAO.
Although radio telescopes don’t only operate at night,
 this picture is still beautiful, with Orion in the upper right corner.
Click for a large view. I promise it is worth it.


Now we can proceed:

Next >> A Gate Opens - The Voyage Begins

© Gareth Harris 2016       --------        Contact email:        --------         see also: