This picture is a lousy example of night-sky photography. There’s a ton of haze still in the skies around here from the fires, and it was enough to ruin even a 10-second exposure. I never bothered mounting the equatorial drive for a longer exposure, since it would have been pointless.

But! This picture does have something that none of my others have: a cat keeping careful watch over the Milky Way. As it should. And that’s why this is today’s lunchtime photo.

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TIME IS RUNNING OUT!

We have an ambitious $350,000 online fundraising goal this month and it's truly crunch time: About 15 percent of our yearly online giving usually comes in during the final week of the year, and in "No Cute Headlines or Manipulative BS," we explain why we simply can't afford to come up short right now.

The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

That's why donations big and small make up 74 percent of our budget this year. There is no backup to keep us going, no alternate revenue source, no secret benefactor. If readers don’t donate, we won’t be here. It's that simple.

And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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