How the old Mountains drip with Sunset
How the Hemlocks burn –
How the Dun Brake is draped in Cinder
By the Wizard Sun
– Emily Dickinson
I’m fascinated by sunsets. But what happens at the curtain call of day? Is it a period of rest for the cosmos in preparation for another bright new day? Of course not, because as the sun sets in our part of the world, it rises in another! Our star (the sun) never rests. It beams out an unending source of energy.
Dr Louis Barbier, a NASA astrophycist, explains just how much energy the sun produces. “The Sun’s output is 3.8 x 1033 ergs/second, or about 5 x 1023 horsepower. How much is that? It is enough energy to melt a bridge of ice 2 miles wide, 1 mile thick, and extending the entire way from the Earth to the Sun, in one second.” NASA Cosmicopia.
This huge ball of nuclear fusion in turn enables all species to thrive on this 3rd rock from the sun which we call home. The colours produced at sunset can make it appear as if the day’s scenery is being burned from memory, that the grand universal stagehands are waiting off-stage preparing to erect a whole new set of scenery for the next day. It echoes life’s eternal cycle: sunrise, day, sunset, night. Then repeat. As another great American writer, Ralph Waldo Emerson says, “Every sunset brings a promise of a new dawn.”
Enjoy your sunset tonight everyone and look forward to a new dawn tomorrow. Much love, Anita. I leave you with some more beautiful sunset images.