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Look to the stars from your desktop

The news cycle and election coverage has been exhausting for many the past week and you may feel you need a break from these terrestrial matters.

But chances are, if you live anywhere close to Cooper or the greater Philadelphia region, you will not be seeing the full panoply of stars. The light pollution obscures all but the brightest. When you do get to leave a densely populated area, spend some time looking up at the night sky, marveling at the continued existence of the cosmos and the earth’s place in it. Carl Sagan wrote of the earth as that place where “everyone you love, everyone you know, everyone you ever heard of, every human being who ever was, lived out their lives” but is only “a mote suspended in a sunbeam,” “a lonely speck in the great enveloping cosmic dark.” If you have a moment this week, open your Chrome browser on a desktop computer and spend some time with 100,000 Stars, a 3-D visualization of our stellar neighborhood. It’s not like gazing through an actual telescope but it’s one way to connect.

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