Easter Astronomy and Sunken City update

Happy Easter!

As we all learned in school, Easter is celebrated on the first Sunday following the third full moon during a conjunction of Saturn and Mercury in the constellation Ursa Minor … ok, I’m confused; what this has to do with chocolate rabbits, I don’t know.

Hopefully this article can explain.

Okay, simple enough – something something … ooh, the equinox!  Now we’re cooking!  The equinox falls halfway between the solstices, when day and night are equally long.  From here, the days will begin to get longer, leading up to the summer solstice, the longest day of the year.

If you were the type of person (i.e., one with more patience than I’ve ever had, and also one with a fancy camera) who would take a picture of the sun at its highest point in the sky, every day, and then superimpose those pictures, you’d get something called an annalemma:

tutulemma2_tezel_big

The point where the figure eight meets are the equinoxes; the sun crosses once in the spring and once in the fall.

Unless, of course, Mithra held the world still, and the sun traced that path in a single day.  Imagine looking up and seeing the sun and stars all superimposed on the twilight sky … that’s the stuff of nightmares.  Or religions …

… but until then, it’s time for boiled eggs and chocolate rabbits, because it’s the Sunday after the first full moon following the vernal equinox …

ech.  My head hurts.  Simple version:

Easter is when the stars are right.

Speaking of eldritch monstrosities, Frogwares Games has an update on Sunken City.  I think their focus on urban design (if you notice, the writer has a PhD in urban planning, which is more qualification than I will ever have for anything) is a good sign they’re on the right track.  Lovecraft and I share a passion for urban landscapes.  For me, it’s not as much the architecture as the possibility of discovering some secret place – a hidden street, an unusual house (which could only be, at minimum, the lair of a sinister haunt) or even a hidden time: a quality to the gloaming of a spring evening as the lights in the distance can suddenly cross darkened space to impress themselves upon you.  I’m even starting to sound like him, don’t I?

The level of thought they’re putting into the geography means they’ve hopefully caught some of what Lovecraft was really about, which wasn’t always tentacles and aliens, but an overwhelming sense of place.

But that’s not until 2017.  In the meantime, let’s celebrate the rebirth of nature by eating baby chickens.  Never made sense to me.

 

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