Twice a year I get thrown off by Daylight Savings Time, and the whole “spring forward, fall back” mnemonic doesn’t help me a bit because I can never remember whether “forward” means add an hour or subtract an hour and the same for “back”. Or “fall”. As we all know time isn’t really linear bit a wibbly wobbly ball of timey wimey stuff, but that’s another story.
There is one advantage and that is that for a few weeks at least I’ll be getting up in the dark again. That may not sound like a good thing but on days when the sky is clear I can look up and see the stars of the Milky Way, which is the galaxy where we are, galaxies being big strandy bandy balls of starry warry—yeah, that’s getting away from me.
Right now when I go out and look to the southwest early in the morning I can see Jupiter and that reminds me of something I wonder about every time I look at it. How did the Romans know to name it Jupiter? It’s the fourth brightest object in the sky. First is the Sun, the Moon, and Venus is third. How did they just happen to know Jupiter was the largest planet in our solar system? Doesn’t Venus obviously look bigger because it’s brighter? Maybe Venus was called “Jupiter” for thousands of years because it looked bigger. And maybe Jupiter was called “Venus” because it’s the setup for a joke I’m about to make in the next few sentences. Maybe when Galileo discovered four moons around Jupiter he didn’t name them Io, Ganymede, Europa, and Callisto after some of Jupiter’s lovers but instead named them Adonis, Phaeton, Anchises, and Richard Burton.
And all this was covered up by modern astronomers, although why they would care about the accuracy of the Greek and Roman astronomical names is beyond me since they’re all pretty much hit or myth anyway.