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Probably that was the Large Magellanic Cloud, which is the nearest and brightest galaxy in our local group of about 51 galaxies:
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Sounds about right. I seem recall Magellan get a mention :o)


Now there's another name that has to go. It seems Magellan was a slave owner.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enrique_of_Malacca
Enrique of Malacca was a member of the Magellan–Elcano expedition that completed the first circumnavigation of the world in 1519–1522. He was acquired as a slave by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1511 at the age of 14 years....

DB2
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The ancients agreed with you. The gobsmacking ‘stars’ that happened to move were thought, literally, to be at the very least emanations of (using the Greek Pantheon)

Apollo
Artemis
Hermes
Aphrodite
Ares
Zeus
Uranus
the ones that were ‘fixed’ relative to each other were seen similarly as heavenly powers.

When I did organizing and fundraising work to house and help deeply troubled thrown-away/runaway drug-addicted prostituted gay street kids I sometimes got permission to take some of those who were well along in the process out for a moonless night time four mile hike across a remote part of the Mohave Desert. They were all thoroughly gobsmacked by it, never having seen a true night sky without light pollution.

I live where I do because the light pollution is low enough that I can get gobsmacked quite often....

David fb
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Davidfb When I did organizing and fundraising work to house and help deeply troubled thrown-away/runaway drug-addicted prostituted gay street kids I sometimes got permission to take some of those who were well along in the process out for a moonless night time four mile hike across a remote part of the Mohave Desert. They were all thoroughly gobsmacked by it, never having seen a true night sky without light pollution.

When I took my totally L.A. based wife to visit my parents in North Texas, she was gobsmacked as well. And My gob got smacked also, It had been years.

CNC
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When I took my totally L.A. based wife... My gob got smacked also, It had been years.

The sizzle rekindled, great... nothing more romantic than the stars on a moonless night.
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I remember in grad school when I worked for the observatory. My first time "up the mountain" was amazing. I had done camping when I was young, but you really couldn't see the stars. We usually were in wooded areas, so trees blocked it. The observatory is high-up and wide-open. OMG.

There were usually two of us up there, and sometimes I would sit in a chair outside and just look (if I wasn't the primary that night).
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I live where I do because the light pollution is low enough that I can get gobsmacked quite often....

Me too. I was out late last night looking at the sky from the deck. Simply astounding. The Milky Way was a bright swath across the sky.

Tim
because it's pretty dang dark at night out here in Wyoming
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Before I left Australia for good (2002) I had the very good fortune to visit the area around Uluru (Ayre's Rock). There's a small hotel/motel not too far away from the rock and it offered various excursions - one of which was 'Dinner under the Star'.

We were driven a few miles away from the complex, out into the bush where a well run outside dining area had been established. We arrived just as the sun was setting. There were small lights at ground level and on the tables so you could see where you were going and what you were eating. After dinner came the show.

A knowledgeable young lady stepped out to address us all. She held a MASSIVE flashlight. As she started to talk and the murmuring died down, all the lights around us went out. Darkness all around. It didn't take too long for the heavens to reveal themselves in full magnificence. Utterly jaw-dropping.

The lady then gave a very informative 20-30 minute talk and used the flashlight to point out various aspect of the southern sky. This included a whole other galaxy which can't be seen in the northern hemisphere. If you held out your arm straight you could smoosh/cover the whole thing with your thumb.

I enjoyed the evening so much that after pootling about on other short trips over the following two days, I went back for another dinner under the stars on my last night. Really impressive.


Lawtie
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My most amazing night sky moment was while camping at Elephant Butte Lake State Park near Truth or Consequences, NM...pretty darn close to the middle of nowhere ;-)

After my husband fell asleep early, I stepped out of the RV for a little night walk. A moonless night, no light pollution. The enormity of the sky dominated by the complex arc of the Milky Way made me cringe back in awe. I have never felt so small and yet a part of something so big, alone out there with the universe.
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The lady then gave a very informative 20-30 minute talk and used the flashlight to point out various aspect of the southern sky. This included a whole other galaxy which can't be seen in the northern hemisphere. If you held out your arm straight you could smoosh/cover the whole thing with your thumb.

Probably that was the Large Magellanic Cloud, which is the nearest and brightest galaxy in our local group of about 51 galaxies:

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_galaxies#Naked-eye_gal...
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Loved the memories on this thread. I MUST go to the Australian outback or Patagonia and see the Southern stars....

You cannot make a movie showing what it is that does the gobsmacking. Gorgeous 4K things are available, but fail to do anything but indicate and frustrate. You have to have your biological head with its binocular eyes in an actual place at night insistently telling you “each one of those thousands of photon emitters you can discern is effectively INFINITELY far away!” to get the full impact. Even on the best screens no such effect happens. And of course, having it ALL AROUND you slowly moving....

Human reaction is occasionally shown. This scene

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ej9w6KMn4Y0

from Joe vs. the Volcano, which touches on the stars but focuses on moonrise to drive its point home, was almost exactly duplicated by one of my kids on a desert walk. He had been looking, and moving slower and slower, and then could not move for about five minutes, shuddering and sobbing with Gobsmackedness, laced with terror, joy, and profound grieving for the waste of his life up until then.

That vision changed him completely.


David fb
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Probably that was the Large Magellanic Cloud, which is the nearest and brightest galaxy in our local group of about 51 galaxies:

Sounds about right. I seem recall Magellan get a mention :o)


Lawtie
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Probably that was the Large Magellanic Cloud, which is the nearest and brightest galaxy in our local group of about 51 galaxies:
---
Sounds about right. I seem recall Magellan get a mention :o)


Now there's another name that has to go. It seems Magellan was a slave owner.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Enrique_of_Malacca
Enrique of Malacca was a member of the Magellan–Elcano expedition that completed the first circumnavigation of the world in 1519–1522. He was acquired as a slave by the Portuguese explorer Ferdinand Magellan in 1511 at the age of 14 years....

DB2
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