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Astronomy essay update

Greetings! Check out Mike Weinstein’s essay, Astronomy in the Harry Potter Series—it’s been updated with analyses of a couple of astronomical references in Deathly Hallows.

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  • http://rufushonkeriv.livejournal.com/ Pittsburghmuggle

    Great essay!!

    On the appearance of Venus at Midnight, I twisted my brain around that by thinking of a magical telescope that could see through the planet if pointed below the horizon.

  • Potter Fanatic

    Spectacular essay Mike! It was very interesting.

  • Marco

    I like to add, that Eastersunday was actually on April, 12 in 1998, at at that time sunrise in Inverness/Sco is clearly before it is in Cornwall.

    And what concerns the day, they departed from Shell Cottage to Gringotts, I have this also already researched. Already at May, 1 sunrise is 5:59 a.m. BST even in Penzance, what is nearly the westernmost place of Cornwall.

    Let´s have a further look on the subsequent actions of that day:

    We know, that the dragon had landed almost exactly at sunset, most likely already in Scotland, possibly even north of Hogsmade. On May, 1 sunset was at 8:23 p.m. BST in London and at 9:02 p.m. BST in Inverness/Sco.

    Apparation to Hogsmade took place at end of civil evening twilight. At May, 1 this is at 9:49 p.m. BST in Inverness.

    The defeat of Lord Voldemort was exactly at sunrise the following day, in Inverness at May, 2 at 5:26 a.m. BST.

  • Bandersnatch

    @Pittsburghmuggle: Ooh, there are times when I wish I had such a magical telescope to make the horizon transparent! But in this case, it isn’t necessary. In fact, just a few months ago on 18 May 2007, Venus set at the location I used for Hogwarts around 1:20 AM British Summer Time, long after midnight!

    @Marco: Nice analysis of the last two days of DH. But I don’t think the book gives us a specific date in May for the Gringotts break-in and subsequent events, so Voldemort could have been vanquished as late as June 1.

  • Bandersnatch

    Oh, and although Marco is correct that Easter Sunday was on 12 April in 1998, I didn’t use that in my analysis because I don’t think Jo actually checks when the date of Easter was when she makes her timelines. After all, September 1 is somehow always on a Sunday every year….
    –Bander (a.k.a. Mike W.)

  • Marco

    Bandersnatch, I have choosen 1 Mai to make sunrise as late as possible and sunset, respectivly ECET es early as possible.

    1. Even at the shortest possible span of daylight the dragon must have been travelled for more than 12 hours nonstop.

    2. A ECET as early as possible is neccessary to give HRH enough time to carry out their actions from their arrival at Hogsmade til begin of the battle of Hogwarts, which was at midnight.

    We know, that a good 30min. before midnight, so shortly before 11.30.p.m. BST the students were gathered in the Great Hall ready for evacuation, and LV had set his deadline to hand over Harry.

    We also know, that another 20min. before, so shortly after 11 p.m. Prof. McGonagall had ordered evacuation.

    This leaves even at the earlist possible ECET HRH only approx. 75min. to
    -find shelter at the Hogs Head
    -have supper and a talk with Aberforth Dumbledore
    -proceed together with Neville via secret tunnel to the Room of Requirement
    -have another talk with the students retreated in the RoR.
    -Harry to proceed together with Luna to the Rawenclaw Tower
    -take out the Carrows and meet Prof. McGonagall.
    -proceed the spiralcase and 2 other floors down and fight Snape out of the castle.

  • Bandersnatch

    I see what you are saying, Marco. It’s fun to try to make the story and reality fit together, isn’t it? :)

    “Of course it is happening inside your head, … but why on earth should that mean that it is not real?”

  • http://www.hp-lexicon.org Steve

    I love Lexicon people. You all make this so much fun!

    Steve

  • hpboy13

    Well-said, Steve! This is a brilliant essay – we may have to accept the frightening fact that Jo may have made an error. This reminds me, maybe I should update my essay…

  • John

    It was a most excellent essay. Though Jo made a slight mistake, as it is stated, it is not an astronomy manual, it is a novel. I enjoyed it immensly.

  • kamion

    I like this essay and I also would like to see an essay on the weather in Britain in the period 1992-1998. As inhabitant of the Low Countries it surprized me evry time how clockwise it snowed during winter in HP, and there never is a Chrsitmas without being Bing Crosby-like white. Sorry but I haven’r seen a White Chrsitmas in 40 years, the closest it came was sleet. And the climate in the south of England doesn’t diver that much from the Netherlands.

  • hamburglar

    Ah, but Hogwarts isn’t in the south of England; it’s in Scotland. Scotland usually gets some snow in winter, and England often does too. Plus, artisticly snow is good :)

  • moony =lunalupin

    Thanks for updating the lexicon, this is the most scholarly website about the hp-universe.
    Concerning updating an essay, Paula, what is the most usefull/easy way to do this? I sent you something about werewolves, but perhaps it isn’t good enough. If i’d like to update the essay for including the info of dh, can i send the whole essay (or just the updates)? What is the easiest way for you? If the essay doesn’t meet the lexicon standards, please, let me know? Thanks for the info. Best

  • Cricket

    What a fun essay! I thoroughly enjoyed it. I am not a scientific type, but I have to take a ‘hard’ science for a degree requirement…I think I will take astronomy. That was a treat. Thank you.

  • Cricket

    Well, I do have One Thought. As Mike said, she was writing a novel, not a text. That said, I think she might have had some fact checking done just to be sure. What about the British editions of HP? Do they contain the same factual errors? If so, then hey, fun is the name of the game.

  • Graymayne

    Marco – I am delighted that you chose May 1st for the Gringotts/Dragonflight/Hogwarts saga. I chose it based on the sunrise/sunset times, though not as accurately as you, but my instinct told me that Jo had chosen this Celtic festival of Beltane deliberately. It celebrates the end of the winter half of the year, in the Celtic calendar, and, like Halloween, or Samhain, which starts the Winter half, it is deemed to be a time when the veil between the worlds is thinner, and contact with the dead easier. Under the circumstances of the story this is a highly suitable moment of the year.

  • Graymayne

    Cricket – Yes they do contain the same factual errors. It was a bit fatal to choose to have Astrononmy as a school subject and not research the subject as thoroughly as all the other stuff which bears lots of examination. I spotted that Harry could not have been seeing Orion during his examination in June, so I was glad when Mike mentioned it in his essay.

  • Ben F.

    I think you should mention that out of the three days already mentioned in the article that Lupin was sick, none were a full moon at all.

  • Bandersnatch

    That’s a good point, Ben.

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