What was that old Terran saying? Star light, Star bright, first star I see tonight, I wish I may, I wish I might, have this wish I wish tonight. . . .
|Omega Nebulae *
As I look up into the darkness above me, I see multitudes of glittering stars, and a few constellations I know. Some regions of the starry sky have order and others do not, they seem splattered on the darkness in chaos. The swirling clouds of nebuli glow with colours for which we have no names, as stars are born from the etherial dust. A flash of distant brightness as a star goes nova, and a comet streaks by, its tail streaming. This is a performance, a light show of the night sky.
|Eagle Nebulae Pillars *
All around me I see the dust and little rocks which make up the surface of this asteroid which is our colony's home. This fine dust gets into everything. Likely it's in our bodies, too. The surface is barren and unwelcoming. But below the surface, we manage with what we have. It's not a bad life, but it is a hard life.
While working my shift turn at the main library, I found a forgotten copy of an antiquated manuscript on constellations which detailed groupings of stars in the various quadrants as seen from old Terra. It had fallen between two storage shelves. Now, I had that manuscript, hidden in my satchel, loaned to me under strict secrecy by a sympathetic librarian in our colony. I had to return it in a few days. All artifacts had to be submitted to the colony panel.
As I leaned back on the rock, I caught a movement out of the side of my eye. All my sensors went on high alert. What was that? And, why is it hiding?
Something doesn't feel quite right. Maybe I'm sensing something. Prickly hair on my neck, and a twitchy eye. A bad sign. No one could know about the manuscript pages I brought up to compare to our stars. . .could they?
I look around but see nothing. Only one person knows I'm on the surface and that person is out at one of the camps. I have to do something. . .
I reached for the laser pistol clamped on the side of the suit. I turned. Nothing. All seemed as it should. I did a quick 360 degrees turn, using my visual infrared feature of the helmet to scan for heat signatures. There, something giving off a very small heat signature behind that outcropping.
Then it was gone. No heat signature reading. No movement. I looked away, for just a moment. When I looked back, they were gone. I wasted no time in getting up, keeping the pistol in my gloved hand and securing the exterior door after leaving the airlock.
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* = From various telescope images.
http://www.go-astronomy.com/constellations.htm images of constellations
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galactic_quadrant Galactic quadrant
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Orion_(constellation) Orion constellation
a group of stars forming a recognizable pattern that is traditionally named after its apparent form or identified with a mythological figure. Modern astronomers divide the sky into eighty-eight constellations with defined boundaries. OR a group or cluster of related things.