Wednesday, 17 October 2012

And the stars reach down and tell us there's always one escape

I am not a Spandau Ballet fan.  If you've read my previous entry, you may be aware of the fact that i imagine my own interpretations of cultural artifacts, and in keeping with that i can look at that line and see no connection with the Troubles or even that shouty singy bloke whose name i've forgotten.

You may also have noticed that i'm plonking a prodigious number of Celestia vids on YouTube, whereof the latest is this:


This is entitled 'Honeymoon on Enceladus' for reasons a select few will realise.  Certainly Enceladus does not constitute a particularly important part of this video and probably looks irrelevant to the uninitiated viewer.  Nonetheless it's there.

Again, i've made a bit of a mess of the middle of this video because i completely skipped Rhea.  This is Rhea:

I would like to take this opportunity to apologise to Rhea for missing her out.  I understand she is slightly triaxial, like this but less so:

Also, she might be heated by radioactivity, like many other large solid bodies in this solar system, in this case warmly enough to give her a liquid water ocean.  To be honest though, i find Tethys, Rhea and Dione all to be much of a muchness and pretty tedious.

The rest of what's going on in the Saturn system is quite interesting, but it's in the above video so i won't mention it here.

What i do want to mention is one of the emotional functions astronomy has for me, which might go some way towards explaining why i keep doing this kind of thing.  When i find personal problems or the human troubles of this planet get me down, i like to remind myself of our tininess and insignificance in this vast Cosmos, because it means that most or all of what the entire human species does, let alone myself as a wealthy human living in the twentieth and twenty-first centuries since that bloke got nailed to a tree (you know the quote) really doesn't matter and isn't worth getting het up about. Of course, in a sense i am totally wrong and it really does matter, but the impassionate and neutral vastness of space, even of our own little Solar System in fact, helps put it in perspective and is immensely calming.  Everything will be all right in just a few loops around that yellow dwarf, and we needn't worry.

Of course, the reason why this is called 'Honeymoon on Enceladus' is a little in-joke which tells you that in fact, that particular moon does have some emotional significance to me while simultaneously failing to communicate with the rest of humanity, partly due to my passive-aggressive perception that the rest of humanity refuses to communicate with me.