March 12, 2017 § Leave a comment

“For her next birthday she’d asked for a telescope. Her mother had been alive then, and had suggested a pony, but her father had laughed and bought her a beautiful telescope, saying: “Of course she should watch the stars! Any girl who cannot identify the constellation of Orion just isn’t paying attention!” And when she started asking him complicated questions, he took her along to lectures at the Royal Society, where it turned out that a nine-year-old girl who had blond hair and knew what the precession of the equinoxes was could ask hugely bearded famous scientists anything she liked. Who’d want a pony when you could have the whole universe?” – Terry Pratchett


death valley night

Death Valley


“Interestingly, because of the wobbling motion of the Earth’s axis (called “precession”), the celestial pole will draw even closer to Polaris (closest in 2100 AD), but then as time wears on it will gradually draw away from it. In fact, in about 12,000 years our descendants will have Vega as the North Star.” – Peter Geiger




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