The Wonders of Space (Music for Mondays)

Friday evening, the sky was clear and my daughter and I headed over to the university in our town to look at the stars. For her science class, see, extra credit is available and this was one way to take advantage of that opportunity.

The sky was clear, the night air was crisp and the moon was waxing just past half. So my daughter and I jumped in the car and headed to college. Sort of like a father – daughter date night under the stars.

The university folks had three telescopes set up for us and we got to see the Pillars Nebula (seen here from the Hubble telescope), and up close and personal looks at the moon. We also were treated to viewing Jupiter and could clearly see her and four of her moons. And lastly, they slewed the scope over to let us look at a binary star system. We could clearly see those two little suns twinkling at us.  No sign of Tatooine though (but maybe it was there).

Anyway, that is how the theme for this weeks Music for Mondays segment came about. Space, the final frontier.

The theme to Star Trek. How’s this for a mood setter?

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But this, The Known Universe, is even better. One of the research assistants and I were talking about the new planet that was “found” recently that could possibly be supportive of life. You may have seen the story about this planet the size of Jupiter 20 light-years away where, “this planet doesn’t have days and nights. Wherever you are on this planet, the sun is in the same position all the time.” But I’ll need to sleep! The more we look, the more we learn. And the more we learn, the more it seems we already live on the Goldilocks planet, where everything is “just right.” And as it happens, everything has to be just right, as God intended it.

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Next up, David Bowie’s Space Oddity. This is from a 1970 television appearance, and before the Ziggy Stardust era. Confession time: I’ve always loved this song and I sang it to every one of my children when they were babies. Really. I even sang it to the neighbor’s boys when I would play with the kids out on the swing set. You know, for astronaut training purposes.

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The Police, Walking on the Moon. Remember this from 1979, on the leading edge of the early 80′s? The album title? Regatta de Blanc. This from a live concert in 1983.

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Well, now that the moon is on my mind, how about something apocalyptic and classic too? Creedence Clearwater Revival and Bad Moon Rising should do nicely.

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I know I played this already recently in my “To Anne Rice, with Love” segment, but this is a must for any space segment. Elton John’s Rocket Man. Sing along while you enjoy this classic footage.

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Neil Young fleeing Mother Earth? Something like that, in After the Goldrush, with silver spaceships and such.

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What better visuals for a space segment than black holes? And what better music for that subject than Pink Floyd? This from the instrumental version of Shine on You Crazy Diamond.

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Space and Pink Floyd go together like peas and carrots, wouldn’t you agree? One of These Days, is the tune. And this montage of a scene from Stanley Kubrick’s 2001, A Space Odyssey fits well too.

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It was enjoyable spending time with my daughter, admiring Our Lord’s handiwork. Afterwards, we went and had some frozen yogurt at a shop next to the campus. I blinked a little when I considered that in six short years, my 6th grader may be doing this again with an actual date. Gulp!

See ya’ll next week!

  • Julienne

    LOVE, LOVE, LOVE THIS POST! Lots of neat music and I get that spiritual feeling on a monday morning watching that entire "The Unknown Universe" video. Wonderful way to start a busy Monday.

  • Wild Bill

    You're doing it right. Keep on teaching your daughter what to expect from a gentleman on a date. Later, she'll want to ditch you but she'll take the character formation with her. Never doubt that daughters need their dads.

  • Vin

    That was an interesting video "The known universe by AMNH".I take offense however by the on screen caption at 6:31 of the video "the afterglow of the big bang". The implication is that the universe was created by an explosion in space.Whatever happened to the story in Genesis that God creating everything?Pretty shabby from a website which calls itself "Why I Am Catholic"

  • Frank

    Howdy Vin, thanks for stopping by. Have a look at what a scientist at the Vatican Observatory has to say about "the Big Bang,"But for those working in the field of cosmology, there is more than one “Big Bang” model—any number of possible assumptions exist on which mathematical models can be based. Thus the work of the cosmologist is to test these alternative models, to see which ones are consistent with observations, and to suggest new observations or measurements that, in turn, may be able to provide definitive tests for the different Big Bang models. Some of this work is being carried out at the Vatican Observatory by cosmologist William Stoeger, S.J., in collaboration with cosmologists around the world. Not too "shabby" after all. See more here.

  • vin

    To my mind, computer models do not trump scripture and the teaching of the church on creation vs evolution.Here's a thread from elsewhere in the New Advent newsletter (Oct 19th).The Problem of Polygenism in Accepting the Theory of EvolutionBy: Msgr. Charles Pope

  • Frank

    Yes, saw it too. You must have missed this embedded link in the post…as God intended.

  • Nathan

    Vin:At the root of your statements is a misunderstanding about the nature of how God creates anything, one that's been prevalent for the last few hundred years.For a really good explanation read Dr. Carroll's essay "Creation Confusion"'s dense, but in short "Creation is not primarily some distant event. Rather, it is the ongoing, complete causing of the existence of all that is. Creation concerns the origin of the universe, not its temporal beginning."Because the origin of the universe depends on God, not only in the beginning but it continues to rely on Him now and forever, so we say that "God wills things to be and thus they are. To say that God is the complete cause of all that is does not negate the role of other causes which are part of the created natural order."

  • Bender

    What? You've got Major Tom, but couldn't find a clip of the Carpenters' "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft"?But if you must know, one of the things that most helped my understanding of the eternal nature of God is Billy Pilgrim and the Tralfamadorians.

  • Bender

    Whatever happened to the story in Genesis that God creating everything?"Let there be light."That sounds like the Big Bang to me, a theory that was posited, by the way, by Father Georges Lemaître, Catholic priest. A theory which has been accepted as wholly plausible and consistent with scripture by, inter alia, Popes John Paul II and Benedict XVI.

  • Frank

    What? You've got Major Tom, but couldn't find a clip of the Carpenters' "Calling Occupants of Interplanetary Craft"?Sorry Bender, maybe next time! Also, thanks for your comment.@Nathan: Nicely done too!

  • Frank

    Like the prophet Amos wrote…He it was who formed the mountains, created the wind, reveals his mind to man, makes both dawn and dark, and walks on the top of the heights of the world; the Lord, the God of Hosts, is his name.He made the Pleiades and Orion, who turns the dusk to dawn and day to darkest night. He summons the waters of the sea and pours them over the land. ‘The Lord’ is his name.He has built his high dwelling place in the heavens and supported his vault on the earth; he summons the waters of the sea and pours them over the land. ‘The Lord’ is his name.

  • Sandy

    This devout Lover has never found a disconnect between science and Creation. As a finer theologian once put it, science is given to us to learn, explore, and describe the Creation.If it's good enough for Karol Wojtyla, it's good enough for me.Frank, thanks for making me smile as always on this overcast Friday."… I'm stepping through the doorand I'm floating in a most peculiar wayand the stars look very different today."

  • Caribbean Catholic

    Enjoyed the post man. You should check out this cool website. It shows you the night sky where ever in the world you are at the time you are there… so if you are not sure what you are looking at.. you can refer.⪫=10.66&city;=Port+of+Spain&tz;=UT-4Oh and you left out space Trucking from Deep Purple and Star Trekking by The Firm