Lupus – the wolf

March 26, 2017

Astronomy

bigbadwolfThe constellation Lupus is way down south. It was even recognized as the wolf by Claudius Ptolemy a couple of thousand years ago, which is notable because Ptolemy was mostly concerned with the stuff more to the north. On the other hand the stars in this area are near Centaurus and they do in fact easily connect to look like some sort of critter, if you’re clever. So it’s only natural to add it to a map, that way the Centaur has something fun to shoot at with his arrows.

lupThere was a supernova in Lupus in the year 1006 and I have to assume that it freaked folks out back then. Those medieval types were easily freaked and stuff in the sky tended to be associated with whatever bad thing was happening. Let’s face it, medieval times sucked. If you weren’t being attacked by neighboring armies you were probably being attacked by your own, or getting a plague, or being accused of witchcraft or of being left-handed or something. Meanwhile the sky was supposed to be reliably stable, the firmament. So I’m guessing in 1006 when a new star appeared in the wolf sixteen times brighter than Venus, a lot of folks sacrificed a sheep, or a calf, or a Jew.

There is a planet named Lupus-TR-3b which is orbiting one of the stars in Lupus, the star Lupus-TR-3 (see how that works). It’s just a bit smaller than Jupiter but it is very close to the star, so close that it is orbiting around it about every 4 days, or bit less. That means on that planet a year is only 4 days long. If I lived on Lupus-TR-3b I would be 5475 years old and be complaining about the weather full time.

medieval

Carpe Noctem

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