A “Still Life” Debate between a Botanist and an Astronomer
Botanist: What a lovely Still Life of a Big Bend Havard Agave.
Astronomer: What a magnificent Still Life of the Chisos Mountains Northern Night Sky.
Botanist: Well, the Still Life subject is obviously the plant. The photographer centered on it and then meticulously hand painted it with a flashlight.
Astronomer: I beg to differ, the subject is clearly the night sky. The photographer lined up on the North Star and then patiently exposed 150 photos over the course of an hour.
Botanist: But the agave is STILL and the stars are MOVING!
Astronomer: The stars aren’t moving, it is the spaceship Earth that is spinning. So I STILL say the night sky is the Still Life.
Botanist: Maybe I’ll give you that, yet the plant represents LIFE!
Astronomer: Look at the thousands of stars in the sky, there is bound to some sort of LIFE out there.
Botanist: Hmm… we both may have a point. You know what else an Agave is good for? Tequila. Shall we go find some?
Astronomer: Most definitely. Perhaps a nice Añejo?
The North Star
If you were standing at the North Pole and were to look exactly straight up, the North Star would be directly over your head.
And if you were to watch the stars overhead, they would make a complete circle around the North Star every 24 hours because that is the polar axis extending out into space.
The good news is that you don't need to go to the North Pole and that the North Star is easy to find, even in your backyard. All you need to do is to look for one of the easy to find and bright figures in the sky... The Big Dipper!
Go outside at night, face the general direction of where the Sun has set and then stick your right arm out to the right, your hand is now pointing in the general direction of North.
Next look for the Big Dipper in the area that your right hand is pointing. It is the big pot with a handle in the sky, note it could be sideways or upside down depending on the time of night and time of year.
Then follow the outer edge of the bowl out about 2.5 hook ‘ems and you will see Polaris, our North Star. It is not the brightest star but is the one most central to our polar axis and all of the stars seem to rotate around it as the Earth spins.
If you now face Polaris, you are looking North, your arms are pointing East/West and your back is to the South, just like a human compass!