Luminescence | East Wenatchee, WA | May 2020

This fetch ball glows in the dark, but our dog doesn’t give a damn. He can spot a tossed no-glow ball in a yard lit only by starlight. We humans, however, find such radiance absolutely amazing. The ball’s luminescent material somehow traps photons and slowly releases them. Thus an object that displays an illogical glow, producing its own energy, appears to be magic. The same can be said of bioluminescence — fireflies, deep-sea eels, Katy Perry’s eyes in music videos. Online explanations of luminescence skirt the edge of quantum physics, noting “forbidden” transitions in an atom’s spin. What we non-scientists know: In darkness a lowly rubber ball glows with what can only be evidence of the Great Mystery.