A spectacular event in the night sky on September 22nd left some of us with nerves that were more than a bit frazzled but rewarded us with a memory and a few funny stories. Unsuspecting O'odham were treated to a light show that I would describe as a cross between the aurora borealis and a band of fire spiraling out of the heavens. When I first beheld the scene, I wasn't sure whether to gaze in awe or to run for the hills just in case the aliens were invading! In any case, I was a bit frightened because the event was an unnatural occurence. I ran in to grab my camera to try and capture the moment and told my gramma that something strange was happening in the sky. I couldn't quite explain to her exactly what I was seeing, but that she had better come outside and see for herself. She made her way out the door and I tried to point and shoot with my digital camera...but wouldn't you know it!...my batteries were dead! We stood outside, trying our best to study the form and theorize about what it could be? Should we call 911?, should we head for the bomb shelter?! (no, we don't really have a bomb shelter). Well, after watching the vivid colors dissapate, we went back indoors and turned on every concievable device that might give us an inkling of information about our theories or our doom! LOL! The t.v. gave me nothing. The internet ...nothing (but of course I wasn't sure what I was looking for...what words to google). "Aha!" I said to gramma J, "The radio station might be saying something about it!". Good Ol' KOHN - The VOICE OF THE TOHONO O'ODHAM NATION...surely they would be our voice of assurance. Turning on the radio and setting the dial to 91.1...the sound that came blasting out of the speakers was non other than a very lively waila tune! Gramma and I just looked at each other and laughed. "I guess they want us to waila (dance) our way outta this world!" gramma said. I guess if the world is coming to an end and the sky is falling...what better way to go than with a tune in your heart and a quick step to your feet. Well, it was an almost agonizing couple of hours before we found out what had caused countless uninformed citizens, of the southwest United States, such a fright and understandably so in this post September 11th world. A low flying sattelite was put into orbit and was thrust into space by a rocket lauched from Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. You can read more about the launch and view more images at this link:
After being reassured by the news media about the launch, I felt free to breathe a sigh of relief and feel happy that I was an eyewitnesses to this marvel of science. I understand that another launch is scheduled in Mid December. They will be launching a few small sattelites but I don't know what time of the day the launch will take place. So keep gazing at those skies...you never know what you might see.