Views from Maya and Mars

by Radio Somewhere

When Maya Angelou passed away recently, it was embarrassing to admit that I had never read/heard any of her work. So I looked up and requested a few titles from the library via Overdrive.

I decided to request the audio version of I Know Why The Caged Bird Sings, because it is read by the author herself; and, I have plenty of time to listen to it on the bus.

Today, I was listening in a quiet little courtyard outside a coffee shop, being inspired by her recollections of time in church, when I was suddenly surprised by a visitor:


Don’t know how that spider managed to spin a web so close without me noticing! I took a picture and moved to another table.

While I listened, I looked through picture galleries in the NASA app. And I found myself wondering if the young girl of Stamps, Arkansas was ever enthralled by the night sky the way I was at that age. I’ll bet the stars were really bright.

Then I came across one of my favorite images — a Mars sunset.


Mars sunsets are blue. The atmosphere is very thin and the scattering process that makes Earth’s sky appear blue is ineffective when the sun’s rays hit directly. But at sunset, the rays come in at an angle and have to penetrate a greater depth of atmosphere, allowing blue light to be scattered in greater quantity (just as red light gets scattered in an Earth sunset.)

The fact that we have been able to land instruments on another planet to capture and send such an image back to Earth is something I find SO comforting. Other worlds have sunsets too. They just look a bit different.

A view from another world — just like the incredible stories I have been hearing these last few days.