Memories of summer animate the promise of each spring.
In 1572, a star with the brightness of Venus appeared for a few months in the constellation of Cassiopeia. A second one followed in Ophiuchus in 1604.
The title of this piece is from De nova et nullius aevi memoria prius visa stella and De Stella nova in pede Serpentarii, in which Tycho Brahe and Johannes Kepler used their observations of these “new stars” to lay to rest the illusion of an eternally unchanging celestial sphere. Three centuries onward, their work helped us begin to understand what really makes the stars shine.
Have you ever watched a thistle seed drift across a sunny field? Or tried to follow one?
Dedicated to Canada/USA Mathcamp, where an early draft was performed in 2005.