Foucault’s Pendulum

This Parisian iron ball suspended and wire-swinging
inside the Panthéon dome proves that Earth
rotates on its axis, steady but relative
to our turning world. It’s physics –
but I take comfort in any constancy.


I learned more about Foucault’s pendulum in Umberto Eco’s novel by that name. It’s a high-level adventure that might remind you of Dan Bown’s popular novels. Some Milanese book editors create an elaborate hoax connecting the medieval Knights Templar with occult groups and making a map that shows the geographical point from which all the powers of the earth can be controlled. Spoiler: It’s in Paris at Foucault’s Pendulum.

Earthrise In Earthshine

Before daybreak these mornings, two bright objects
of nighttime, Moon and Venus, are East.
Earthshine’s glow lights the Moon’s dark side
with this twice-reflected sunlight and Earth appears
a half-lighted landscape in the lunar sky.



This NASA photograph from Apollo 11 shows the partly-illuminated Earth rising over the lunar horizon. The Earth is approximately 400,000 km away.