Columba – the dove

September 24, 2017

Astronomy

Columba is a constellation that was called Columba Noachi for awhile, which means “Noah’s Dove.” You recall I’m sure that Noah, at the ripe old age of 600, loaded his wife and his three sons and their wives and millions of animals into a boat with one little window. Yahweh himself closed the door.

They floated around for a year or so in the smelly boat and eventually things started drying up. The boat ran aground on a mountain so Noah sent a few birds flying out as a sort of scientific experiment. One brought back a fresh twig. Either some trees survived being at the bottom of a world-wide ocean all that time, or the bird found some debris floating around. Eventually the dove didn’t come back at all. Noah figured it must have found a place to nest. Either that or it drowned. Anyway, he let the rest of the animals out, after all the kangaroos had a long walk ahead of them.

Then Yahweh made a special promise to Noah. “Never again will I use water when I get in one of those moods where I feel like killing off the whole world” he said. “As a token of this promise I will refract sunlight when it passes through water droplets in the atmosphere at an angle that is wavelength dependent so that it presents a visible array of colors at 42 degrees from the anti-solar point.”

On the other hand, Columba is also said to represent the dove released by the brave crew of the Argo during the episode of the Clashing Rocks. Jason sent the bird through in order to trick the rocks into trying to smash it, and then he sailed the ship through while the rocks were in re-set mode. The bird looses a couple tail feathers but is otherwise fine. The Columba constellation is close to a bigger constellation representing the good ship “Argo” so it totally makes sense that they go together.

The birds in these two stories, the one from the Ark and the one from the Argo, could be two different doves, or it could be one dove that really gets around.

There is a famous star in Columba known as The Runaway Star. It’s proper name is Mu Columbae and we’re pretty sure it was born in the Orion Nebula in a small stellar birthing ward called the Trapezium. Either it escaped and is off to explore the galaxy, or it got kicked out. Quit, or got fired, either way it’s leaving Orion in a hurry.

Let’s face it, they never come back. Or if they do they are all growed up with tattoos and piercings and listening to new-fangled music that sounds like a bunch of noise. How are you going to keep ’em on the outer rim once they’ve seen the galactic core?

Carpe Noctem

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