Thursday, July 15, 2010

Why We Love Fireworks

As I watched the dazzling fireworks exploding literally in my front yard, I was totally engaged in the explosive sights and noise.  Neighbors to the north, south, and east were setting off pyrotechnic displays of dancing fractals, energy, and color.   I thought, "why are we  so mesmerized and awed by fireworks".  

What is the attraction?   Peoples of all cultures, ages, and walks of life celebrate using fireworks.  What mystical qualities are seen in FIREWORKS?

Maybe fireworks remind us of the star explosions where we came from.  Stars are factories for new elements. As they live and die, they convert their hydrogen gas into all the rest of the elements on the periodic table. These elements make up Earth and you.

Celestial Fireworks
Like an Independence Day fireworks display, a young, glittering collection of stars looks like an aerial burst. The cluster is surrounded by clouds of interstellar gas and dust -- the raw material for new star formation. The nebula, located 20,000 light-years away in the constellation Carina, contains a central cluster of huge, hot stars, called NGC 3603.

Star clusters like NGC 3603 provide important clues to understanding the origin of massive star formation in the early, distant universe. Astronomers also use massive clusters to study distant starbursts that occur when galaxies collide, igniting a flurry of star formation. The proximity of NGC 3603 makes it an excellent lab for studying such distant and momentous events.

Image Credit: NASA, ESA, R. O'Connell (University of Virginia), F. Paresce (National Institute for Astrophysics, Bologna, Italy), E. Young (Universities Space Research Association/Ames Research Center), the WFC3 Science Oversight Committee, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA

 "'Stars mimic living systems. They are born, live to maturity at metabolic rates determined by their masses, and die, spewing forth the matter by which their stellar offspring can take form. Throughout, they convert the light atoms of their birth into the heavier ones dispersed at death. The chemicals that constitute our beings were manufactured in the bowels of stars that today exist only as memories.' — George A. Seielstad, 'Cosmic Ecology,' 1983."

  • We are made of STARDUST — recycled stardust!
  • We are star stuff, PONDERING the stars.
  • Humans are star stuff evolved to the point that we are conscious and can begin to know and marvel at our own magnificent STORY.
  • Our ANCESTORS include ancient stars. Stars are part of our GENEALOGY.
  • Most of the NITROGEN cycling within the Earth system was forged in the bellies of RED GIANT STARS".
  • Every atom of IRON within our blood was at one time inside the core of a star and gumming up the works, so to speak. it: NASA, ESA, and the Hubble Heritage Team (STScI/AURA)

4th of July 2010 - Toledo, Ohio
Video shot from the tippy top of the Willis B Boyer Ship - Museum in the great city of Toledo, Ohio on the beautiful Maumee River during a private 4th of July party sponsored by the Toledo Club. (run on sentence. sorry!) 30 minutes of video compressed into 3 minutes of video. Zero edits other than in camera.

Happy 4th of July 2010  Fireworks Photos, by Magyar Photography, Andrea Magyar. To contact Andrea about these images, other pictures or photo opportunities: email

Is it any wonder we love to watch firework explosions?   Many festivities wouldn't be complete without  empyrean demonstrations of fireworks that are born in the minute and then in a blink they are gone.

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