Earliest astronomical memory

Here’s a question that might encourage some discussion in the comments, and ties in with the International Year of Astronomy: what is your earliest memory of an astronomical nature?

I was five years old and on an aeroplane, having taken off from Britain and being destined (via one or two intermediate stops) for Australia. I turned to my parents and asked, “Have we gone past any other planets yet?”

My mother told me that we wouldn’t be going that high.

What’s yours?

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4 Responses to “Earliest astronomical memory”

  1. Julie paradox Says:

    goodness, I can’t think of anything like that.

    I think it must be establishing the Plough. Probably while carol-singing. Possibly on bonfire night (before it gets cloudy).

    Realising that that bright “star” outside the bedroom window is actually Venus, and remembering it’s called the Evening Star.

    The moon.

  2. Flesh-eating Dragon Says:

    Here in the Southern Hemisphere we don’t have the Plough, but we do have the Saucepan which is basically Orion upside-down.

    I’ve always thought of it as being full of custard…

  3. Greg Laden Says:

    An eclipse of the moon. Summer, so the moon was at high latitude, so we watched out of the north-ish facing back of the house.

  4. Flesh-eating Dragon Says:

    I think I’ve only seen one total eclipse of the moon and one total eclipse of the sun, both within the last decade. The only eclipses I saw as a child were partial sun ones, during which I remember watching the sun change shape by means of the pinhole technique, both at school and at home.

    One thing that I’ve still never seen is a total eclipse of the sun in the middle of the day. The one I saw was in the evening when it was soon going to be dark anyway, so it wasn’t as dramatic as it might have been.


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