Stars spinning overhead

Did you know that if you hold still long enough at night, the stars will move around you? This is no surprise to country folk, sailors, and hikers, but to city dwellers who rarely see the sky obscured by all the street lamps, neon signs, and security lights, stars are something of a myth and the fact that they move is only academic knowledge.

When I was a child, I had a poster on my ceiling of a long exposure photograph taken at some observatory or another. The circling streaks surrounded the dome, while wavy lines of light revealed the paths of astronomers carrying flashlights.

If you want to take a clear photograph of a star, you cannot hold still. You must track your camera with the rotation of the Earth. No matter how still it seems, we are all spinning and whirling through the universe.

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