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A weekly newsletter about stars, humans and art,
from Akira G. Sternberg.


Aimless night wander
lost in a sea of dark green —
prairie of coiled snakes
Akira G. Sternberg

Sunday, 2 February 2020

Dear friend,

I am happy to see you again in this second issue of my newsletter.

As, I am sure, you have already noticed, the letter comes with a new name: THE MORNING SPECTATOR. A more proper, I hope, name for the character I want to give to the content.

Also, I wanted to imply some connotation with Lucifer, the bringer of dawn, the fallen one, the most slandered character in western literature, a painting of whom will henceforth adorn the banner.

From the next issue, the newsletter will be delivered on GMT 7:06 am, giving more credibility to its name.

In this issue I will share with you some interesting news and articles about stars, humans and art.

I hope you will find it interesting and no less beneficial.

Looking forward to your feedback.

Yours sincerely,

Field of white flowers
a magpie dressed in black suite —
sombre procession
Akira G. Sternberg


Beethoven 2020.

In case you already live in another plan, you surely know that 2020 has been proclaimed Beethoven year, since it marks the 250th anniversary of his birth (on 1770 if maths is not your forte).

Beethoven is the most played composer in concert halls all over the world, but 2020 is going to be an apotheosis of his creative genius and artistic mastery.

Ludwig van Beethoven 2020 year

The celebration hashtag is #BTHVN2020.

Happy Beethoven year to all!

The haunting beauty of snowflakes.

Did you know that pictures of snowflakes were taken as back as 1880?

When Wilson Bentley (9 February 1865 – 23 December 1931) was fifteen, his mother presented him with a microscope for his birthday.

After experimenting with various objects, such as pebbles and insects, Wilson one day managed to put a snowflake under his microscope, beginning a life-long fascination with these delicate and beautiful constructions of ice.

Years later, he managed to mount his microscope eyepiece to the lens of his camera, and on 15 January 1880 took his first photograph of a snowflake.

Wilson Bentley

See a stunning selection of snowflakes and read the full story on the Brainpickings website.

Below the night sky
in the wreckage of our home
hold me tight and smile
Akira G. Sternberg


NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope ends mission of astronomical discovery.

After more than 16 years studying the universe in infrared light, NASA’s Spitzer Space Telescope’s mission has come to an end.

On Thursday, 30 January 2020, at 5:30 p.m. EST (10:30 p.m. GMT), the spacecraft was placed in safe mode, ceasing all science operations.

Spitzer was one of NASA’s ‘Four Great Observatories,’ along with the Hubble Space Telescope, the Chandra X-ray Observatory and the Compton Gamma Ray Observatory, each of which used different wavelengths of light to observe the universe.

It was launched in 2003 and now drifts peacefully in deep space.

Solar systems smashups

Read more on the official NASA press report.

New telescope reveals unprecedented detail of the sun’s surface.

National Science Foundation’s ‘Daniel K. Inouye’ 4-meter solar telescope revealed unprecedented detail of the sun’s surface

The telescope, placed on the summit of Haleakala, Maui, in Hawaii, will initiate a new era in the understanding of our sun.

Sun surface image

In this picture, taken at 789 nanometers (nm), we see features as small as 30km (18 miles).

The pattern of turbulent, ‘boiling’ gas that covers the entire sun in cell-like structures (each about the size of England), are the signature of violent motions that transport heat from the inside of the sun to its surface.

Read the complete article on NSF’s website.

Memorial to fallen astronauts on the Moon.

Did you know that there is a commemorative plague on the Moon’s surface to honour fallen astronauts?

The plaque was stuck in the lunar soil by astronauts David R. Scott, Apollo 15 commander, and James B. Irwin, lunar module pilot.

Moon memorial of fallen astronauts

The 14 NASA astronauts and USSR cosmonauts are, in alphabetical order:

  1. Charles A. Bassett II
  2. Pavel I. Belyayev
  3. Roger B. Chaffee
  4. Georgi Dobrovolsky
  5. Theodore C. Freeman
  6. Yuri A. Gagarin
  7. Edward G. Givens Jr.
  8. Virgil I. Grissom
  9. Vladimir Komarov
  10. Viktor Patsayev
  11. Elliot M. See Jr.
  12. Vladislav Volkov
  13. Edward H. White II,
  14. Clifton C. Williams Jr.
Up at 5 AM —
my robe tight, my tea hot, but
my dreams left half through
Akira G. Sternberg


Epigram, witticism, quip, aphorism, bon mot, motto, saying, pithy saying, one-liner, maxim, quote. No matter how you may call them, short, witty phrases of distilled wisdom have an uncanny charm almost no one can resist — not excluding myself.

Although, it is true, all too often popular quotes are just ’empty words,’ with little if no meaning at all; just a shallow exercise in rhetoric and popular speaking, with the only intent to impress or provoke. But we are not going to busy ourselves with these.

On the contrary all four epigrams of this article are of a serious nature, with deep consequences, and all share a common root.

Character is fate

Ancient greek ruins

This pithy saying by one of the most ‘difficult’ Greek philosophers (even Socrates used to call him ‘dark’), is extremely profound and deep. In other words, it says that what people call ‘fate’ is just the consequences of our actions, which are determined by our character.

It leaves little if any room for metaphysical explanations. Actually, it puts a heavy weight on our shoulders, since we, i.e. out characters, are responsible for every thing we may or may not do.

On the other hand it is a liberating principle. If our character determines our fate in life, then it is in our power to shape that fate in any way we please.

Build a strong, full character, and life will smile at you.

The next epigram is by Marcus Aurelius:

Waste no more time arguing what a good man should be. Be one.

Last day of the week
last day of January —
let’s leave it at that
Akira G. Sternberg


8 modern but amazing nevertheless statues.

Although ‘modernism’ is a bad word, ‘creativity’ isn’t. So, in this issue we present to you some of the most creative modern statues of the world.

Some are chosen because they exhibit a creative artistic spirit, some because they are impressive and majestic, but all are chosen because they are works of art that we would like o have in our city.

1. Expansion by Paige Bradley, New York, USA:

Expansion by Paige Bradley, New York, USA

2. Les Voyageurs by Bruno Catalano, Marseilles, France:

Les Voyageurs, Marseilles, France

3. Mustangs by Robert Glen, Las Colinas, Texas, USA:

Mustangs By Robert Glen, Las Colinas, Texas, USA

4. Monument Mihai Eminescu, Onesti, Romania:

Mihai Eminescu, Onesti, Romania

5. Force of Nature II by Lorenzo Quinn, New York City, USA:

Force of Nature II by Lorenzo Quinn, New York City, USA

6. Truth is Beauty by Marco Cochrane, San Leandro Tech Center, San Francisco, USA:

Truth is Beauty by Marco Cochrane, San Leandro Tech Center, San Francisco, USA

7. Phantom Limb by Motohiko Odani, Tokyo, Japan:

Phantom Limb by Motohiko Odani, Tokyo, Japan

8. Wish by Robin Wight, Trentham Gardens, Trentham, Staffordshire, United Kingdom:

Wish by Robin Wight, Trentham Gardens, Trentham, Staffordshire, United Kingdom
In a clear blue sky
dividing noon from evening
a plane travels west
Akira G. Sternberg

Did you enjoy the haiku in this issue? I observe the one-haiku-per-day discipline, so you’ll be getting seven haiku with every newsletter.

I’ve also penned a haiku collection: “The Stargazing Frog: A poetry collection of 366 original haiku about nature, humans and stars,” which you can find in Amazon.

The Stargazing Frog cover

One last haiku, before you go:

This Sunday morning
dancing on your eyelashes
dreams of you and me
Akira G. Sternberg

I’ll be happy to keep in touch and I am eagerly waiting for your comments:


Until next time…

May the Force smile favourably upon you.

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