You’ve heard that space is expanding,
You’ve heard that science is sure
That galaxies fly from galaxies
For as long as time will endure.
But if space-time is expanding,
Just what’s it expanding into?
What’s beyond the edge of
The universe that we view?
Just more and more that we’ll never see,
Each frame of reference is valid.
Each star at the center of everything
Regardless of how much is added.
So I might be forgiven for saying
That I stand in a special place,
That I am the center of everything,
Of energy, matter, and space.
By Kate Rauner
Thanks to space.com for the question, and for giving me an excuse to believe I’m more important that you are! My poem reminds me of Dr Suess’s Yertle the Turtle 😀
Visit my blog for a poem every-other-post (about) or try one of my collections. Rhyming poems for fun, inspired by science.
My grocery store is only
A twenty minute drive,
A statement based on distance,
Related speed, and time.
You understand my drive at once,
It causes you no fuss.
Who says you don’t comprehend
By Kate Rauner
Update: It’s happening again! Dec 31, 2016 gains a leap second.
Is what I need.
I must concede.
Time to improve,
And lose some weight.
Read more books,
And not forget
A simple pleasure,
Get more sleep,
Smell the roses,
Arrive at closure.
And cook more, too.
Hang with friends,
Catch up at work.
I’ve socks to mend.
Twice a decade,
There is a year
With extra clout.
In twenty fifteen
I must reckon
How best to use
My leap second.
It’s time to start planning. Horologists – experts on measuring time – will add one second to June 30, 2015.
“It’s the 26th time this has happened since atomic clocks started governing our time. The extra second will be tacked on to the final minute of June 30. On that day, the official atomic clocks that keep Universal Coordinated Time will mark the time as 23h 59m 59s, followed by the leap second 23h 59m 60s. July 1 will continue as usual, beginning with 0h 0m 0s.” LATimes.com
For 2016, see here and many other outlets.
We must do things like this because the universe refuses to conform to our notions of perfection – circles, constant rates, stable axes, Platonic shapes. Dratted universe.
Collections of my poetry are available now 🙂
Many news outlets are running pictures taken by the Mars rover Opportunity today, on the tenth anniversary of its launch. Pictures taken by Opportunity have a date stamp that may seem surprising: for example, sol 3353. Time keeping on Mars is an interesting detail of the mission.
A day on Mars is 2.4% longer than a day on Earth. Mission control crews work on Martian time. A day-shift assignment will turn into a night shift assignment, “sliding approximately 40 minutes later in Earth time each day. Wristwatches calibrated in Martian time, rather than Earth time, are used by many of the team members.” NASA scientists use the convention that the first day of operations of a Lander is called Sol 0, so I suppose pictures taken on the same day by different landers will have different Martian date stamps. There aren’t enough landers for that to get confusing… yet.
The motions of a planet make working by its own day and year the obvious choice. For craft in space, I suppose there is no reason to abandon Earth time, and specifically the Earth time of its mission control base. For anniversary celebrations, we might as well use Earth time. After all, we are the one’s who are celebrating.