Last night on our drive home from Saturday evening service we were all enjoying looking at the beautiful starry sky. It was a clear night and the stars were shining brightly. I was pointing to the big dipper when Anne, my exchange student said that in Germany they call it the Great Wagon, and the little dipper the small wagon. Then I went to ask Lucci what she calls it in Brazil.....then she said something that completely shocked and amazed me:

Lucci - "We don't have a big dipper in our sky."

Me - "What?!" You don't have the same stars? ( Not quite believing her and thinking that she didn't have a clue what she was talking about, or that maybe she misunderstood the question)

Lucci - "No, because we are in the southern hemisphere and our constellations are different."

Me - "Really?!" (still not quite believing it) then Ryan and Anne both confirmed Lucci's story. "I can't believe I never knew this! I don't remember learning this in school" Every since I was a child I always sang the song "Somewhere Out There" which talks about two soul mates looking at the same bright star. I went on to say that now this song just doesn't quite have the same meaning any more because it would be completely impossible from someone from Canada to be wishing on the same star as someone in Brazil. Anyway......

After that I got goosebumps while I marveled in how vast God's creation is. I have traveled all through the US and Canada and I loved that I could look into the sky and it would always look the same as it did at 'home' Lucci doesn't even have that. How different would that be looking up into a completely different sky!

I just assumed that people from all over the world looked out at the big dipper in amazement. Boy, was I wrong.

(Big Dipper is the American term for the seven brightest stars of Ursa Major, called the Plough in Britain.)

Lucci went on to tell me some of the names of the stars in the southern hemisphere's sky. She said the southern cross was the most distinctive one. They don't even have a significant pole star in the southern sky! Like we do with the north star pointing to the north.

I could go on and on about this but ever since that conversation I have been enjoying doing research and learning about more this. I have to admit that it struck me kind of hard and found it quite scary at first. How strange would it be looking up at a completely different sky.

So there you have new found great astronomical discovery! Yes, I still can't believe I didn't know this and perhaps you all already knew all of this but I am not embarrassed to say that before yesterday I had no idea.The exchange students aren't the only ones learning new things.......their hosts are as well :)


Wendy said...

don't feel bad Shanilie! I didn't know that!!

Summer said...

I didnt know that either!! I thought that the stars are the same everywhere!!

Margo said...

What!? I had no idea!!

connie said...

I didn't know that either! Like the saying goes, you learn something new every day! BTW, I love that song you mentioned!

Anonymous said...

You learn something new every day...

These exchange students are teaching YOU!

Shanilie said...

Phew! I am glad I am not the only one who didn't know this! I am not alone!!!!! Yippie :))

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