When Anah was a kid at camp, she used to go out at night with her friends and search the sky for satellites. Far up north in Canada, there were a few that looped low enough to be seen as silver streaks moving through the night.
Several years ago, Dianne went to an Iridium Watch Night, where she and a pile of friends sat in a field to watch an Iridium satellite flare. At the time, there was talk of bringing the satellites down from orbit because they were no longer in use. That’s since changed, and now the Iridium satellites are being used for all kinds of things…which means people can still go out and watch Iridium flares in the night sky.
And now, NASA offers this: http://spotthestation.nasa.gov/ Many people can see the International Space Station from their back yards. It’s the third brightest object in the sky—only the sun and the moon are brighter. You can sign up to get an alert when it’ll be close enough for you to see it. Every year, we come closer and closer to a world in which Space is right next door. As Sir Fred Hoyle pointed out in 1979, “Space isn’t remote at all. It’s only an hour’s drive away, if your car could go straight upwards.”
The sky is changing in many ways. We wonder about a future in which kids draw the trajectories of the objects passing over their backyards for school projects, or in which they watch at the window to wish on falling space debris. Will children be raised with new constellations of space stations and will the children on those space stations watch for Earth as it passes overhead? Will the sky become so cluttered with technology and trash that people forget to look past to the stars?
Anah Crow and Dianne Fox write sci-fi, paranormal, and contemporary queer romance for Carina Press, Samhain Publishing, and Amber Allure. They’ve been writing together for more than 10 years. You can find them on the web at anahcrowdiannefox.com and on Twitter at @anahcrow and @diannefox.