“What he found, though, was that living on the streets and canals of medieval Venice held far more challenges than prison life. Here he was just another cat, struggling to survive, being new to the language, vying with other cats for a meal of fish bones, scraps or rodents. And, most importantly, he realized that in his haste to escape, he had left the Purple Cone behind!”
Chapter Fifteen: Halley and his Comet; Chapter Seventeen: The King’s Astronomer; Chapter Twenty: Maria Mitchell
Inquiry Question: What are comets? What makes them unique among objects in the sky? How were astronomers like Edmund Halley able to tell the difference?
*”Halley’s Comet” was last visible from Earth in 1986. Ask your parents, or grandparents, if they were able to see Halley’s Comet.
*Show pictures of comets and explain their composition. Explain the features that astronomers look for. Explain how astronomers measure speed, trajectory and other behaviors when identifying comets.
* Why did some people have doubts about Halley’s ability to predict the comet’s return?
* Describe the discoveries of Caroline Herschel and Maria Mitchell during their telescopic sweeps of the sky.
Just a few quotes from our book The Tales of Astro Cat:
“The time will come when diligent research over long periods will bring to light things that now lie hidden. A single life time, even though entirely devoted to research, would not be enough for the investigation of so vast a subject. . . . And so this knowledge will be unfolded through long successive ages. There will come a time when our descendants will be amazed that we did not know things that are so plain to them. . . . Many discoveries are reserved for ages still to come, when memory of us will have been effaced. Our universe is a sorry little affair unless it has in it something for every age to investigate . . . . Nature does not reveal her mysteries once and for all.”
Seneca, Natural Questions Book 7, c. first century
“Imagination is more important than knowledge.”
U Phat Khat
Marble, present day Astro Cat taking a break from reading “The Tales of Astro Cat” on his new Kindle. I think I actually caught him smiling…er, maybe more like grinning.
June is the target for publication of The Tales of Astro Cat on Kindle. Meanwhile we’re waiting to hear from several literary agents. Marble is so excited we’re going to have to make this both a literary and a celebrity blog, because he is soon to be a famous feline!
How did all of this happen? One morning a few years ago we discovered Marble sitting quietly atop a newly acquired telescope. Needless to say, it was startling and totally unexpected in a rather amusing sort of way. This was the moment we realized there was much more to this cat than the eye could see. It was then that he slowly helped us to come to understand his unique heritage and the long line of Astro Cats that were his great legacy. He just decided that it was time to reveal the truth about his amazing ancestors and the stories that were passed on to him through the magic of The Purple Cone. So now the beat goes on and on….