#696 Actually pointing out a constellation other than The Big Dipper

stare up to the starsIt was pretty rare to stare up at a dark sky full of sparkly stars while growing up between streetlights and neon pizza signs.

Now if we went camping or up to a friend’s cottage, that was a different story. That’s when we could zip open our tent or lie on the dock and just gaze up at the twinkly beauty above us all. We’d just tilt our necks, drop our jaws, and wonder how big it was, how far it went, and what the tentacled, saliva-covered aliens looking back at us were thinking.

It didn’t happen too often, but every once in a while somebody would pick out a few bright stars and point out a constellation way up there. Light years away, worlds apart, and sparkling for all eternity, we heard stories about bulls, belt buckles, and the personal business of many Greek Gods.

Of course, I could only ever see one thing up there myself: The Big Dipper aka The Plough. Sometimes I thought I’d see another one only to have an older kid tell me I was looking at a plane, a blinking satellite or, occasionally, the moon.

That’s why when you actually point out a constellation in outer space you feel like a genius astro-cosmologist with a PhD in Good Eyesight. You’re no longer the dude responsible for finding marshmallow roasting sticks, grabbing bug spray from the tent, or dumping a pail of water onto the campfire before we head to bed. No, now you’re a worldly space explorer raising your eyebrows and pointing out the window as we all fly forward through the darkness.


What do you seePhotos from: here

Illustration from: here

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