Starry Night

As I get ready for bed, I always find myself thinking about the stars and the night sky.  The universe is a beautiful thing, and it’s extraordinary to ponder how small we really are in the grand scheme of things.  Perhaps that’s one of the reasons why I love older history so much.  I have studied the height of organized civilization, which is an almost alien way of life to us.  Marriage at 13?  Slaves?  A round trip across the Mediterranean taking 20 years?  No Facebook?!  Yep.  Crazy, I know.

I recently found an animated model of Ptolemy’s universe online.  You can zoom in (the best part is after you’ve zoomed in) and speed up the images.  It’s amazing how accurate it is, for the most part, after all this time.  Yeah, I know Greece isn’t, and never was, the center of the universe, but the orbits of the planets were revolutionary.  Do you remember playing the game in middle school in which different balls were the planets and they were placed however many steps apart to demonstrate their relative sizes and distance from one another?  (It was great!  That and the parachute are the things I remember the best.)  Well, this reminds me of that.

Ptolemy's Astronomy