Thursday, October 4, 2012

Syzygy



From Chapter 4, "The Confused Person's Guide to Astronomical Jargon," in Neil deGrasse Tyson's 1994 book Universe Down To Earth.

This is the less-than-elegant term to describe the moment when three cosmic bodies have aligned. For example, during full moon and new moon, the Earth, Moon, and Sun are in syzygy.
Mr deGrasse Tyson is one of the more engaging public speakers around. And I nominate him for an iPhone commercial alongside theoretical physicist Lisa Randall for a three-way discussion with Siri about the definition of dark matter.

Scanning electron microscope image of Juglans nigra 
(Black Walnut tree)
lower leaf surface, showing a variety of trichomes.

(Dartmouth Electron Microscope Facility/Dartmouth College) 

via Boston.com's The Big Picture: News Stories in Photographs


Syzygy, meanwhile: hard on the eyes. But a variety of words is always nice.

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