To be exact, today is both “Look Up at the Sky Day” and “Moment of Laughter Day.”
Of course Stretch has a great telescope, so he’s all ready to look up at the sky today. I enjoy star gazing as well, but I usually do my sky watching with the naked eye or a good pair of binoculars, so I haven’t reached his level of expertise in identifying space objects.
The constellation I’m best at finding is Orion. In the winter, it’s easy to spot the three stars that make up Orion’s belt in the sky across from my balcony, and then I can trace a path up to Betelgeuse on Orion’s shoulder. Recently I discovered something new about this constellation—it also contains a monkey’s head!
Our readers know my affinity for monkeys, so of course I found this news exciting. The down side is that it takes something along the lines of the Hubble telescope to be able to get a view of this monkey head nebula. You can see it on the Hubble website where I found this picture and information:
To celebrate its 24th year in orbit, the NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has released a beautiful new image of part of NGC 2174, also known as the Monkey Head Nebula. This colourful region is filled with young stars embedded within bright wisps of cosmic gas and dust.
NGC 2174 lies about 6400 light-years away in the constellation of Orion.
The detail shown in this image lies within NGC 2174, a nebula which gets its more common name, the Monkey Head Nebula, from its curiously familiar shape when viewed in wide-field images.
Considering how I seem to get along with live monkeys (anyone who has been to a zoo with me will tell you stories about the antics they pull whenever I stop to talk to them or try to snap a quick photo), I think the Moment of Laughter that goes along with Look Up at the Sky Day can be attributed to the fact that there’s a hidden monkey laughing at me from my favorite constellation.
Stretch says he doesn’t see what the problem is with viewing the monkey head nebula, he can see it quite clearly through his telescope.
And he has an appropriate joke to give everyone a Moment of Laughter today:
Why did the monkey like the banana?
Because it had appeal!
Stretch says you’re invited to come have some chocolate covered bananas and gaze through his telescope tonight.
“Look out into the universe and contemplate the glory of God. Observe the stars, millions of them, twinkling in the night sky, all with a message of unity, part of the very nature of God.” Sai Baba