Yesterday marked a sad day for astro nerds and/or Chris Hadfield fans everywhere. The one-year agreement between Hadfield and David Bowie’s people for licencing of  the song “Space Oddity” was officially up (which means, yes, it’s actually been a full year since Hadfield returned to Earth. Where did that time go??) Sadly, that means that the astronaut’s infamous space-recorded cover and video had to be removed.

My sadness knows no bounds.

Now, before you go leaving nasty comments on Bowie’s Facebook page as many others have already done (seriously, don’t do that), keep in mind that it was pretty cool that his camp offered up the rights for any length of time in the first place. Also know that Team Hadfield is already hard at work trying to get the licencing extended. While they can’t make any promises, let’s all just think happy thoughts, shall we?

Until then, the video has been made private rather than having been removed all together; a good call considering it had already managed to amass over 22 million views in the last year!

Ultimately I’d love to see the video restored but even if it doesn’t, I’m just glad it happened in the first place. I love how the video was able to inspire countless people around the world. Space, I dare say, has never been cooler.

All of this seems rather timely considering that last Saturday was International Astronomy Day. I honestly had no idea until Kyle and I walked into the mall that afternoon and were greeted by a booth run by the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. It turns out that they were having free telescope viewings that night so between the fact that we both like space and the fact that we met at the Jasper Dark Sky Festival, we obviously had to check it out.


Guys. Space? It never ceases to blow my damn mind.

We went with fellow astro nerd and friend Disney Amanda and her boyfriend, Mike. I was impressed with the turn-out of people clustered around the telescopes at the top of the East Zwick’s hill when we arrived. I was also impressed to learn that Belleville has it’s own RASC chapter (the more you know!)

We got to see the storms of Jupiter and its moons, the rings around Saturn, and the craters of our moon up-close and personal. You can see these images in books and online but nothing is as thrilling as seeing them with your own eyes. SPACE! It’s crazy!

Kyle Harms, moon, astronomy, space
Kyle took this picture of the moon ON HIS IPHONE (through a telescope, obviously. BUT STILL!)

I think I’ve probably said this before but what I really love about space is the perspective it provides. To look up at the stars and consciously observe the universe is to be humbled. It makes me feel small in a way that I appreciate and inspires me in a way that few other things can.