On Sighting the McNaught Comet

On Sighting the McNaught Comet

Posted in the Houston Comets Forum


Sydney, Australia

#1 Jan 23, 2007
My wife and I sighted the McNaught comet tonight and last night in George Town Tasmania. I was reminded of several prose-poems I have written about comets--or at least the comet came into some of my poems much like a shooting star. Here are one or two pieces:
One way to visualize the relative sizes in the solar system is to imagine a model in which it is reduced in size by a factor of a billion. Then the Earth is about 1.3 cm in diameter(the size of a grape). The Moon orbits a foot away. The Sun is 1.5 meters in diameter(the size of a man) and 150 meters from the Earth.(a city block) Jupiter is 15 cm in diameter(grapefruit) and 5 blocks away from the Sun. Saturn(an orange) is 10 blocks away; Uranus and Neptune(lemons) are 20 and 30 blocks away. A human being on this scale is the size of an atom; the nearest star is 9000 km away -Obtained from Internet, 02/03/96.
On 4 October 1957 Sputnik, the world’s first artificial satellite was safely in orbit, circulating the Earth every 96 minutes. Five Orbiter spacecraft mapped the moon between August 1966 and December 1967. I finished my education, got married and pioneered to the Canadian Arctic that year. On 20 July 1969 the first man walked on the moon. Two years and two months later my wife and I left Canada for Australia. Sitting in our lounge room in Whyalla South Australia in the evening, felt like being on the moon.-Ron Price, 4 February 1996, Noon.
Wilder than your wildest imagination,
simply the most incredible reality
in existence: existence, the universe
in all its labyrinthian complexity.
Wilder than your wildest imagination,
simply the most incredible reality
in existence: one’s own life, its days,
its years in their labyrinthian complexity.
1957 to 1997: forty years on
in the great journey into space
with missions to the furthest reaches
of the solar system: Pioneers10 and 11.
Astronomy taking off at last.
Voyagers taking us to Jupiter,
Uranus and Neptune.
Light has gone around
the planet and we have gone
around the solar system.
The radio galaxy 3C65
in the constellation of Andromeda
lies some 8 billion light years
away, some say, in a universe
that expands forever,
dramatically less than a
second after its birth.
Just last week astronomers
discovered 1500 galaxies
whose light started its journey
toward Earth five billion years ago.
There are hurricanes
three times the size of Earth,
two-and-a-half billion miles away
on Jupiter-itself a sea
of liquid metallic hydrogen,
home of thousands of mysteries,
storms and chaos.
Home of the ten hour day,
home of four moons.
A place you could fit in all the planets.
Collector of comets,
protector of our planet.
Pioneering into the solar system,
into my psycho-spiritual system
into the global society
with each on our own trip….
Ron Price
4 February 1996

Sydney, Australia

#2 Jan 23, 2007
More on comets and other stuff.
By the early 1990s the Arc Project was making large holes in the side of Mt. Carmel. During this same period of time, in 1993, the Hubble Spacecraft was fixed in the heavens. As the Arc Project headed to completion in 2000 and 2001, Hubble sent back data that allowed astrophysicists to determine with some accuracy the age of the universe at 12 billion years. Some 40,000 galaxies could be observed in the sky behind a curvature the size of a grain of sand and there was a vast increase in the knowledge of the origins of stars. The Sun and the Moon were also studied during the construction of the Arc Project telling us much more about these heavenly bodies. The Sun's polar regions were investigated during this period. Asteroids and comets were also examined in more detail than ever before. Mars and Saturn also came under the astronomers' microscopes.-Ron Price with thanks to The Internet: Planetary Science Spacecraft, 24 June 2002.

They1 said we stood on the threshold
of the last decade
of the radiant twentieth century.
The prospects were dazzling:
little did we know
we'd be able to go back
and see our origins
12 billion years ago.
Yes, there was an acceleration
of spiritual forces then
as May 1992 approached.
The suddenness, the speeding-up,
the transformational impact
on my poetic output,
the new feelings of delight
on the dry soil of my heart
and a certain bewilderment
which I have been trying
to understand since those
winter months when
it really began,2
made me slowly realize
that, at last, I could
not do everything
on this long, slippery
and tortuous path
as that dynamic synchronization
at last approached.

1 The Universal House of Justice, Ridvan Message 1990.
2 In the winter months of June to August 1992 I wrote 35 poems, the precursors to an immense poetic unfolding of about 600 poems each year for the next ten years: 1992-2002.
-Ron Price 27 June 2002

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