Once again, the International Space Station provides a breathtaking glimpse into our Blue Planet and our celestial ‘neighborhood’.  The comet ‘Lovejoy’ streaking through our solar system.  Many thanks to ISS Commander Dan Burbank for capturing some incredible images of this comet, discovered by amateur astronomer Terry Lovejoy in early December.  This comet is best known for its survival passing through the sun’s searing hot corona last week.

Takes me back to my days aboard the ISS.  During the daylight the Earth is an explosion of life.  Color and motion jump out at you like a painting from one of the great Impressionists, with the dark, vast, frightening emptiness of space as the canvas.  This sight holds you spellbound at first.  Your mind cannot seem to comprehend what your eyes are witnessing.  But then...the night comes...the colors fade and the Earth becomes a raging ball of light.  Lightening storms, bioluminescence in our oceans, aurora...it is so mesmerizing to witness with your eyes.

Makes me think of all those years that I dreamed of being an Astronaut, and getting a chance to one day travel in space.  I used to look up to the moon and stars and wonder what it would be like to go there.  Then when I was on the ISS, I thought about what it would have been like to be a child somewhere out in space looking at our Blue Planet through a telescope.  How much more vivid my dreams would have been to travel to this beautiful blue planet raging with life.

Wishing you a very Merry Christmas and the happiest of holidays!  Perhaps it is appropriate that this comet is named ‘Lovejoy’...just in time for our holidays.

Love, Joy & Peace on Earth...

http://msowww.anu.edu.au/~rmn/C2011W3.htm

http://www.nasa.gov/multimedia/videogallery/index.html?media_id=125774121