The Little Prince Watches the Aurorae Dance Over Norway

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.

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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!  

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