So, look at the ground you are standing on. It is literally star dust…
Dickson Yeager – Sunrise Walker
On the first day of our Autumnal Equinox Sunrise Walks, we met at the pond where we learned about the philosophical and scientific explanation of the Autumnal Equinox.
We had the pleasure of learning from amateur astronomer Dickson Yeager who gave an explanation of what is happening in the solar system and the significance of how this relates to our early morning Sunrise Walks.
What is the Autumnal Equinox and how are we stardust?
For astronomers, the Autumnal Equinox is two things:
- An event that we acknowledge with the changing of the shorter days and longer nights.
- An intersection of the two great circles.
What are the two great circles?
If you take the earth’s equator and expand it out to the celestial spheres, that is one great circle. The other circle is inscribed by the earth as it goes around the sun. Because the earth is tilted on its axis 23.44 degrees, the two great circles are not parallel, they are at an angle. When they cross, it is the time of the Equinox.
At the time of the Autumn Equinox, the sun moves into the Southern Hemisphere. It is during this time when we take this morning walk.
On the Equinox, the sun rises due east and sets due west. The only place the sun does not rise or set is around the Arctic and Antarctic circles. There, the sun stays parallel with the horizon and circles around the edge of the horizon during the day.
Are we really standing on stardust?
As you walk at sunrise each morning, you might contemplate the birth of the sun. The birth of a star is in a molecular nebula of gas. The great Orion Nebula is one such place where stars are born.
At the sun’s birth, it carried with it an accretion disc of leftover material. It is out of the leftover gas and dust that the solar system was created. So, look at the ground you are now standing on. It is literally stardust.
You are literally made of hydrogen from the cosmos’s conception and stardust created by super massive stars end-of-life explosions. So, yes, you are made of stardust, and you are standing on stardust.
When my good friend Dickson Yeager would go out for coffee after the sunrise walks,
we would joke and say, “I guess Stardust drinks coffee.”
For a more complete document by Dickson Yeager, click here to view a PDF. Please leave your comments! We would love to hear what Autumn has to offer you.
Atumnal Equinox Reflections ~ We are Stardust
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