Monday, March 30, 2015

The Astronomers Song (Part 2)

video


Way back in 1990 I wrote "The Astronomers Song", which has been a bit of a go-to song of mine ever since. It focuses on three giants of Renaissance-Era astronomy: Tycho, Kepler, and Galileo. It's a fun little song, and I've always liked it.

Occasionally, I'd think about adding more verses. Over the last couple of days I did just that, adding some much-needed diversity to the mix by singing about Caroline Herschel, Maria Mitchell, and Annie Jump Cannon.

I also happen to be at the telescope right now, observing at the Radcliffe 1.9-m at the South African Astronomical Observatory in Sutherland. I'm in the middle of a long trip and brought my guitar along for company. The observing cadence right now has basically 10 minutes of exposures, then a minute or so of setting up the next one, then 10 more minutes of exposures. Every hour or so there's about 10 minutes of monkeying around to find a new target.

I figured I'd put those two things together and record a quick video of the new verses to the song, which I'm dubbing "The Astronomers Song (Part 2)". I look pretty bleary because I'm in the middle of an observing run and I'm getting over a cold, so please don't judge. :)

Also relevant music:
OBAFGKM (song in question in the lyric "the mnemonic lives on in song")
The Astronomers Song (In-Jokes with Myself version)

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