Brad Snowder's Blog (129)

Sagittarius - the archer

sgr_03 The constellation known as Sagittarius is a centaur. Do not confuse it with Centaurus. We have two centaurs in the sky and this one wants to be associated with the fine sport of archery. So ignore the legs and focus on the bow.

The name…

Added by Brad Snowder on October 22, 2016 at 4:10pm — 2 Comments

Scorpius - the scorpion

scorpie The summer sky is dominated by a constellation named Scorpius, the scorpion. It has lots of bright stars in a long swooping curved shape like a fish hook. The brightest star in the line-up is a huge red one smack dab in the heart of the beast, named Antares. The scorpion is…

Added by Brad Snowder on October 16, 2016 at 1:54am — No Comments

Sculptor - the sculptor's studio

workshop The southern constellation Sculptor represents a sculptor's studio/workshop. It is one of fifteen designated to honor random 18th century crap by Abbé Nicolas Louis de Lacaille. When Lacaille got married and his bride said her vows, she…

Added by Brad Snowder on October 9, 2016 at 11:12am — 2 Comments

Scutum - the shield

shieldboy There is a small rectangular region in the summer sky known as Scutum, the shield. It represents a typical shield ranging from the Roman legionnaire sort to one that ye olde knight of chivalry might carry along with so much armor he…

Added by Brad Snowder on October 2, 2016 at 12:23pm — No Comments

Serpens - the serpent

tinysnake_01 There is a rather unique constellation in the summer sky called Serpens, the serpent. What makes it special is that it is the only constellation that is divided into two parts. That is, the region of sky assigned to it is not…

Added by Brad Snowder on September 25, 2016 at 11:27am — No Comments

Sextans - the sextant

coord_altaz There is a small constellation smack dab on the celestial equator called Sextans. Don't worry, it's safe for work, although the sex part might get it snagged by parental filters, I wouldn't know. It's part of a group of constellations named in the 17th century in order to…

Added by Brad Snowder on September 18, 2016 at 4:10pm — 3 Comments

Taurus - the bull

babalooey The constellation Taurus is one of the oldest and most famous of the sky-critters. There are indications that folks associated these stars with a bull all the way back to the copper age, which is really just the bronze age before the upgrade. But great starlore doesn't…

Added by Brad Snowder on September 11, 2016 at 12:31am — 2 Comments

Telescopium - the telescope

Brad's Jeep and Meade Nick Lacaille named a constellation Telescopium in order to honor a specific telescope, the one at the Paris Observatory. But then the heavenly borders got all rearranged and they had to cut off the top of the scope as Nick had drawn it. So as a result they had to use…

Added by Brad Snowder on September 4, 2016 at 1:00pm — 3 Comments

Triangulum - the triangle

illuminiwhati The constellation Triangulum is one of the few examples where the connect-the-dots thing really does resemble the name. I mean, it makes a pretty damn good triangle without resorting to your imagination. Even the ancient Babylonians couldn't come up with a great name for…

Added by Brad Snowder on August 27, 2016 at 9:58pm — No Comments

Triangulum Australe - the southern triangle

trianglelady There's a barely noticed constellation down under called Triangulum Australe, the southern triangle. Connecting three dots to make a triangle is pretty much the minimum effort for making a star group.

The first person to go to all…

Added by Brad Snowder on August 21, 2016 at 12:14pm — 6 Comments

Tucana - the toucan

toucanasam The southern constellation of Tucana was named after a colorful South American bird in the late sixteenth century by Petrus Plancius. It is small but important. It contains some of our best examples of cosmic real estate, a dwarf galaxy and a globular cluster, both orbiting the Milky Way.…

Added by Brad Snowder on August 13, 2016 at 11:10pm — 4 Comments

Ursa Major - the great bear

biggerbear The Greater Bear, Ursa Major, is probably the most significant constellation in the northern sky because it contains the Big Dipper.

The Big Dipper is a thing with a thousand names. It's the most obvious and easiest to recognize of all…

Added by Brad Snowder on August 7, 2016 at 12:21pm — 2 Comments

Ursa Minor - the little bear

lilbear Ursa Minor, the lesser bear, is a very important constellation because it is home to Polaris, the north star. It is also home to the Little Dipper which is very easy to find once you've actually found it. If you don't see it right away just nod and say "Yeah. yeah I see it" but…

Added by Brad Snowder on July 31, 2016 at 12:32pm — 3 Comments

Vela - the sails

CatamaranSails Way down there near the south pole there is a constellation named Vela, the sails.

The sails use to be part of a bigger constellation called Argo Navis which included the whole ship. That's how it was 2000 years ago when Ptolemy…

Added by Brad Snowder on July 24, 2016 at 11:00am — 4 Comments


testtubebabies Springtime is about Virgo and has been for a very long time. Thousands of years ago this constellation was known to many as The Seed Furrow but it eventually evolved into a lovely young fertile maiden, as in "spring brings all the boys to the furrow" (wink wink). Not that…

Added by Brad Snowder on July 17, 2016 at 11:18am — No Comments


white-winged-fish There is a tiny constellation near the southern pole of the sky named Volans, the Flying Fish. Unfortunately there is no cute little story here about a fish getting its wish to have wings or such. The only story we have is that this part…

Added by Brad Snowder on July 10, 2016 at 11:00am — No Comments


Fox and Goose The Fox and the Goose is a small constellation in the night skies of summer. It sounds like a fairy tale but one of the gruesome sort where the fox murders some poor goose. Of course a fox has to eat too, and probably has to feed a whole den-full of cute little baby foxes. But…

Added by Brad Snowder on July 4, 2016 at 4:30pm — No Comments

The Problem with Foreigners.

eurostar I once tried to see everything there is to see in Paris in nine days, with mixed results. A co-worker and I had strayed from our official duties at a trade convention in order to see the sights there. I say “strayed” which may be a tad imprecise. The convention was in…


Added by Brad Snowder on November 19, 2015 at 1:15pm — 2 Comments

Politics of Racism

Okay here's Brad's take. Following the Civil War, i.e. reconstruction, the south was all totally controlled by the democrats. After all Lincoln was a republican. The republicans stood for…


Added by Brad Snowder on September 19, 2015 at 11:30pm — 18 Comments

Orphan White

Rachel Dolezal, the white-black woman, is rather interesting. When I was young, people had to be gay to be that interesting. Now when someone comes out as…

Added by Brad Snowder on June 15, 2015 at 11:15pm — 3 Comments


Blog Posts

A Brutal Attack in Pakistan

Posted by Noon Alif on October 25, 2016 at 3:30pm 0 Comments

Sagittarius - the archer

Posted by Brad Snowder on October 22, 2016 at 4:10pm 2 Comments

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