Monday, 25 June 2012

Constellations


I have always loved looking at the night sky.
 
I can remember being a kid in Ontario, lying on my back listening to crickets and looking up, seeing the whole sky filled with stars. I could always pick out the Big Dipper; sometimes I would see the Little dipper depending on the time of year, the North Star and Orion’s Belt. I was never sure if I actually saw Orion’s Belt, or just two random stars and a Soviet satellite. Either way would be just fine for me. I was never bummed about not knowing each and every constellation for a couple of reasons. The first is that no one I knew was significantly better than I was and secondly, even without names they were beautiful.
Lately, I have been thinking that perhaps we should rename the stars to reflect the times that we live in. It isn’t celestial sacrilege, because that is exactly what the ancient Greeks did. I am sure that before the Greeks the Mesopotamians had names for the different star groupings and before that, the people called the stars after the animals they hunted and the leaders they revered. No, I think the Greeks have had a pretty good run, and now it’s time for a change.

I suppose that we will do just what they did and name some of the stars after our …ahhh…stars. Seven stars that kind of look like a glove could be the Michael Jackson Cluster. There will have to be a perfect apple shape and we will call it The Jobs. The dippers will probably look like a couple of hockey sticks and we will call them the Rocket and the Great One.

You just know there will be constellations named for different products. Certainly 7 UP is going to be an easy brand, just as a big “C” will represent Coke. Of course somewhere in the heavens will be a star or constellation named “Trump”.

I suppose it really doesn’t matter what the stars are called, because kids like I was will look up into the sky and not be able to put a name to anything and it won’t matter at all. They will still be beautiful and looking at them will be something to do on a lazy summer night while you are listening to the crickets. Hopefully, there will still be fireflies flitting about making their own constellations that flicker on and off.

I think I just might go out the next time it is a clear night, lie on my back and try to find three new constellations. Hurricane…Tornado…and Poppa. “Hurricane” will be perfect and you will know it the moment your eyes look up. “Tornado” will be a little more difficult to find, but will have a certain twinkle that will make you smile. “Poppa” will be pear shaped and just visible on the horizon. 

I’m already having fun, you should try it too.

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