Tuesday, January 6

Sunset In Bosham

Last week I capture the sunset while we otherwise goof around in the small charming village of Bosham (pop. 2847) which was founded by the Romans who built a Mill Stream as there was no fresh water otherwise. The Mill Stream still exists and runs by the parish, which is mentioned by name in the Bayeux Tapestry, referring to the 1064 meeting of Harold and Edward the Confessor on the way to meet William of Normandy to discuss who would succeed Edward to the throne. I repeat the words below as I know they are of interest to Silver:

    "Ubi Harold Dux Anglorum et sui milites equitant ad Bosham"
    (Where Harold, Earl of the English, and his army ride to Bosham)

Eitan finds a group of kids playing football and shyly watches the action. I prompt him to join and he does, reluctantly, and then fully embraced by the kids and their dads who are working off some holiday glut (this Dad chooses to watch). Madeleine is more interested in the swans, ducks and sea gulls which I learn are becoming a menace in the UK since they are A) aggressive and B) well-fed thanks to the refuse. But why be a spoiler? Madeleine's loaf of stale bread goes a long way towards her popularity while Sonnet resists every instinct to bark: "Not so close to the edge!"
Speaking of the edge, the solar system is orbiting the centre of the Milky Way at a giddy 600,000 MPH or 100,000 MPH faster than the experts thought (reported in today's Popular Science). Astronomers have discovered that the Milky Way's mass is 50% greater, equal to the neighbouring Andromeda galaxy, which means there is an even liklier chance of our Milky Way colliding with other galaxies. As though we don't have enough to worry about.
What is equally interesting (to me, anyway) is how they measure such things: the American Astronomical Society in California first directed the Very Long Baseline Array radio telescope at some of the most prolific star-forming regions.
Because these areas have enhanced levels of radio emission, they act as "bright landmarks." Next they observe them when the Earth is at opposite sides of its sun-orbit, allowing astronomers to measure the slight shift in position between the star-forming regions and other distant objects. From there, measurements use the traditional surveyor's triangulation method, which I recall from Mr Griffon's tenth grade geometry.

Cool! (Mr Griffon was a terrific crotchety old man and a fabulous teacher. I needed an "A" on the final-exam to pull an "A" in the class. He handed me my result and winked: "You did it, kid. Nice job." Sadly, he died the year I left for college).