Monday, November 26, 2007

Moon Over Pigeon Point Lighthouse

Credit & Copyright: Tyler Westcott
Explanation: This spectacular sky is mostly human-made. Once a year, the Light Station at Pigeon Point near San Francisco, California, USA is lit as it was over 100 years ago. During this time, light generated by five kerosene lamps pours through 24 rotating Fresnel lenses, warning approaching ships to stay away. Early last week, light emanating from the Pigeon Point Lighthouse was particularly picturesque because of a thin fog, also blurring the distant Moon. During the latter 1970s, the lighthouse was guarded by an 800 pound pig named Lester. In modern times, the light house is still active but has been supplied with a more efficient flashing aerobeacon.


Brooke said...

Very lovely!

The Merry Widow said...

When we lived in Cali, we went to the lighthouse as a day trip. Pretty neat!


Anonymous said...

Frensel lenses were new in Ben Franklin's day...

I often thought that the Revolutionaries used lighthouses on the east Coast of the USA as a way of transmitting info over long distances about British ship movements... an "advanced" form of telegraph stolen from the openning scene of Aeschylus' Oresteia (Agamemnon)

The Scene represents a space in front of the Palace of Agamemnon in Argos, with an Altar of Zeus in the centre and many other altars at the sides. On a high terrace of the roof stands a_ WATCHMAN. _It is night_.


This waste of year-long vigil I have prayed God for some respite, watching elbow-stayed, As sleuthhounds watch, above the Atreidae's hall, Till well I know yon midnight festival Of swarming stars, and them that lonely go, Bearers to man of summer and of snow, Great lords and shining, throned in heavenly fire.
And still I await the sign, the beacon pyre That bears Troy's capture on a voice of flame Shouting o'erseas. So surely to her aim Cleaveth a woman's heart, man-passioned! And when I turn me to my bed--my bed Dew-drenched and dark and stumbling, to which near Cometh no dream nor sleep, but alway Fear Breathes round it, warning, lest an eye once fain To close may close too well to wake again; Think I perchance to sing or troll a tune For medicine against sleep, the music soon Changes to sighing for the tale untold Of this house, not well mastered as of old.
Howbeit, may God yet send us rest, and light The flame of good news flashed across the night.

[_He is silent, watching. Suddenly at a distance in the night there is a glimmer of fire, increasing presently to a blaze._

One if by land...two if by sea...

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