The Little Prince Watches the Aurorae Dance Over Norway

Bad Astronomy
The entire universe in blog form
July 10 2013 11:15 AM

La Petite Aurore

The Little Prince and the aurora
The Little Prince watches the northern lights over Norway. I love the out-of-focus stars of the Big Dipper to the upper right; it adds a rich melancholy feel to the picture.

Photo by Jean-Luc Dauvergne, used by permission

How time flies! This year is the 70th anniversary of the publishing of Antoine de Saint Exupéry’s beloved book The Little Prince. To celebrate, photographer Jean-Luc Dauvergne allowed his little figure of le petit prince to watch the northern lights flow and sway in the skies over Norway:

Lovely! And appropriate: The other day, I wrote about the B612 Foundation, dedicated to saving the Earth from asteroid impacts. They chose that name because it’s the name Saint Exupéry chose for the home asteroid of the little prince. So in a way, this is art and life imitating each other, a nice closed loop of science and beauty.

Advertisement

Post script: Physicist Matthew Francis wrote a short, fun essay about what the asteroid B-612 would really be like if it were real. [And an update: I messed up my French grammar! I corrected "petite" to "petit" in the text, and fixed the title, too. My thanks (merci!) to Curtis Burisch for pointing this out to me.]

Phil Plait writes Slate’s Bad Astronomy blog and is an astronomer, public speaker, science evangelizer, and author of Death From the Skies!  

TODAY IN SLATE

Technology

Driving in Circles

The autonomous Google car may never actually happen.

Where Ebola Lives Between Outbreaks

Gunman Killed Inside Canadian Parliament; Soldier Shot at National Monument Dies

Sleater-Kinney Was Once America’s Best Rock Band

Can it be again?

Paul Farmer: Up to 90 Percent of Ebola Patients Should Survive

Is he right?

Science

“I’m Not a Scientist” Is No Excuse

Politicians brag about their ignorance while making ignorant decisions.

Politics

The Right to Run

If you can vote, you should be able to run for public office—any office.

In Praise of 13th Grade: Why a Fifth Year of High School Is a Great Idea 

PowerPoint Is the Worst, and Now It’s the Latest Way to Hack Into Your Computer

  News & Politics
The World
Oct. 22 2014 6:30 PM The Tragedies That Have Shaped Canada's Gun Politics
  Business
Continuously Operating
Oct. 22 2014 2:38 PM Crack Open an Old One A highly unscientific evaluation of Germany’s oldest breweries.
  Life
Gentleman Scholar
Oct. 22 2014 5:54 PM May I Offer to Sharpen My Friends’ Knives? Or would that be rude?
  Double X
The XX Factor
Oct. 22 2014 4:27 PM Three Ways Your Text Messages Change After You Get Married
  Slate Plus
Tv Club
Oct. 22 2014 5:27 PM The Slate Walking Dead Podcast A spoiler-filled discussion of Episodes 1 and 2.
  Arts
Brow Beat
Oct. 22 2014 4:10 PM Skinny Mark Wahlberg Goes for an Oscar: The First Trailer for The Gambler
  Technology
Future Tense
Oct. 22 2014 5:33 PM One More Reason Not to Use PowerPoint: It’s The Gateway for a Serious Windows Vulnerability
  Health & Science
Wild Things
Oct. 22 2014 2:42 PM Orcas, Via Drone, for the First Time Ever
  Sports
Sports Nut
Oct. 20 2014 5:09 PM Keepaway, on Three. Ready—Break! On his record-breaking touchdown pass, Peyton Manning couldn’t even leave the celebration to chance.