An image that is closely related to fantasy stories, to me, is that of floating castles. This huge rock floats in the air, kept up by ancient magics, with a grandiose, crumbling castle on top.
But sometimes, I remember that we have a actual huge flying rock hurtling around our good old earth.
This Monday, 21st, a total annular eclipse could be seen from most of Japan. It was really awesome that, as I went for work earlier, so that I could catch the eclipse at the university with friends, I saw so many people carrying around glasses to see the eclipse. People in Tsukuba not only knew about what was going on, they were also prepared to see it.
Myself, I spent a couple hours sunday preparing a pinhole camera made of cardboard, so that I could see the eclipse DIY style. I followed the instructions on this site. The end result was pretty good. While everyone else had their small viewing glasses, I was lugging around this monstrosity:
Anyway… this kind of things remind me that we live in a pretty fantastic world. We take gravity for granted, but the fact that a large enough rock can attract other objects without even touching them is pretty insane, if you stop to think about it. And the fact that astronomical bodies follow a very precise dance, which allowed people from elder ages to predict eclipses and other events precisely only through calculations… that is astounding.
Astronomy is a very artistic field of study indeed!