We've become jaded—a bit spoiled—by the increasingly elaborate and costly special effects in today's sci-fi flicks, but none of us these days is nearly as spoiled as the sky most of us look at.
Imagine yourself as one of your ancestors, say ten thousand years ago. Your reality consists of a few tools, household utensils, perhaps buildings (the city-states were beginning to appear along the Tigris) and, of course, all that nature has to offer: trees, hills, plants, rivers, streams—and the sky.
The sky is the biggest, greatest, most spectacular object you know. During the day, the sky is crossed by a brightly glowing disk from which all light and warmth emanate. Announced in the predawn hours by a pink glow on the eastern horizon, the great disk rises, then arcs across the sky, deepening toward twilight into a ruddy hue before slipping below the horizon to the west. Without electric power, your working hours are dictated by the presence of the sun's light.
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