October 4, 2010


Happy World Space Week! In 1999 the United Nations General Assembly decreed that every year from October 4-10 should be the largest annual space event on our Planet Earth!

 What can you do in your home or your school to celebrate World Space Week? Well, the most important thing is to simply take the time to look at, read about, and celebrate the wonders of our Universe. Years ago, I published a book of poetry called STAR WALK, 

in which I juxtaposed color photographs of space with poems by a range of authors. (As we all know, poetry doesn’t sell. The book is long out of print, although you may find it in your library). I wrote this in the introduction to the book:

As far back as early Native Americans such as the Passamaquoddy, and even before that, people have looked to the stars in wonder and appreciation. They wrote stories and poetry about the fixed stars and the wandering planets, the bright Sun and the changing shapes of the Moon…..the glowing comets and streaking meteors. They also drew pictures of what they had seen and, in more recent times, photographed the amazing sights of space.

Take some time and look at the night sky this week. Jupiter remains the brightest “star” in the sky, other than the moon, and is visible to the west every night. If you look through binoculars, you may even see one or more of its moons.

Look up at the millions upon millions of stars that make up the Milky Way. To the naked eye, our galaxy looks like a hazy band of light that stretches across the night sky. The longer you look and allow your eyes to adjust to the dark, the more stars you will see. But still, we only see a fraction of the stars that are out there. After all, Alpha Centauri, the closest star to us after the Sun, is 4.3 light-years, or 25-trillion miles, away. Even a spaceship traveling ten miles per second would take more than seventy-thousand years to get to Alpha Centauri!

We are part of a vast, fascinating Universe, and with advances like the Hubble Space Telescope and other emerging exploration technologies, we are just at the beginning of a golden age of discovery.

I’m going to leave you with the words of one of my heroes, the great scientist and astronomer Sir Isaac Newton.


I seem to have been only a boy playing on the seashore,

and diverting myself in now and then

finding a smoother pebble or a prettier shell than ordinary,

whilst the great ocean of truth lay all undiscovered before me.


Happy World Space Week to all my readers!

—- Seymour 


Posted by: Seymour Simon

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