So here’s the thing, it seems I am now Patrick Moore. Ok, not really, but in the last few days I have learned truckloads about the stars and the near objects we can see once you leave the bright lights of Sharm. OK, I admit most of the shiny things are the Squeezyjet to Manchester or the Thomson to who-gives-a-shit, but once you’ve ignored their blinking red lights the sky is full of stars that I once read about…
Castor and Pollox sit high in the sky at the moment looking down as only Greek Twins can do over Cirrus the Dog Star. I have visions of them telling him “Sit Boy” or we’ll take Orion’s Belt to you.
Meanwhile lazy old Jupiter hangs around near the moon giving it “Moons? I’ll show you moons kid… how many do you want cos I’ve got loads to spare”. Looking at the NASA wobsite they gave up naming Jupiter’s moons after 50 and the last 16 got boring numbers instead. Can you imagine the conversation … “I’m called Europa, what’s your name?” … “Err S2011/J1 ?” ….. “Pah, you must be a new moon, I’ve been here since Galileo” ….. maybe my imagination runs too wild.
Anyway it’s work and in true Sharm tradition I got the gig by being in the right place at the right time…..
“Hey, what do you know about stars ?”
“Bugger all but willing to learn”
“Cool phone this lady she needs help”
And here I am the queen of Wikipedia who now knows that the Pole Star is 434 light years from Earth and that trying to find it when in Naama Bay is Mish Mumkin cos of frigging light bleed. Cirrus, Betelgeuse (Yes Tim that really is a star and the home to Ford Prefect) and Rigel can all be seen but not the Pole Star; given that the Bedouin have navigated by Polaris for thousands of years, maybe it’s lack in Naama is the reason so many are stuck here with their sodding camels.
Anyway, I am thoroughly enjoying learning new stuff and tomorrow I get let loose on real tourists who have paid for this information …..they’ve even given me my own laser pointer with which to take down aircraft.. sorry .. point out the constellations. Today the ‘dry run’ went OK but perhaps that was because they were mostly non-English speakers and really didn’t give a rats that Jupiter’s light takes the time of one episode of Deadenders plus the Archers to reach Earth (that’s 43 Light Minutes to you lot).
So wish me luck for tomorrow when I get real people who speak proper English and may Galileo help me if there any questions !