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Robert Frost, “The Star-Splitter,” New Hampshire (New York, 1923)

In a comical ballad called “The Star-Splitter,” Robert Frost described a man outdoors splitting firewood after the first frost of autumn:     

You know Orion always comes up sideways.

Throwing a leg up over our fence of mountains,     

And rising on his hands, he looks in on me     

Busy outdoors by lantern-light with something     

I should have done by daylight, and indeed,     

After the ground is frozen, I should have done     

Before it froze….

As with Hesiod and Aratos, Frost’s poetic tale reminds us that Orion’s rising on the eastern horizon at sunset is a marker of autumn.

Frost, an avid amateur astronomer, believed that every town should have its own telescope. The humorous tale recounted in this poem illustrates how the presence of a telescope, like a compelling work of art, will change people, and entire communities, for the better.

Galileo's World Exhibition Location

Source: John and Mary Nichols Special Collections

Section: Stars

Section Number: 4

Object Number: 32

Subject Area(s): Astronomy, Literature, Meteorology, Scientific Instruments

Time Period: 20th Century

Region(s): North America, United States

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Exhibit Gallery OERs

Constellation tubes | Six constellations

Six constellations

Identify six common constellations by their star patterns.

Urania's Mirror was a set of 32 constellation cards designed to aid in identifying the constellations by distinguishing between star patterns and constellation figures. This set includes six constellations, selected so that at least one of them is visible (in the northern hemisphere) at any time of the year. Holes punched in the positions of bright stars allow one to hold any card up to a light and compare the star pattern with the constellation figure.

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Coma Berenices Learning Leaflet

Coma Berenices Learning Leaflet

Coma Berenices is the only one of the modern 88 official constellations named after a historical figure. It represents the hair of Berenice, Queen of Egypt (267 221 BCE), who reigned with Ptolemy III Euergetes. Learn more about this in this learning leaflet.


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Urania's Mirror: Constellation Cards

Urania's Mirror Learning Leaflet

What are your favorite constellations?

Urania's Mirror was a set of constellation cards designed to aid in the teaching and learning of constellations. This set includes 32 cards, each focused upon one or a few constellations. Holes punched in the positions of bright stars allow one to hold any card up to a light and compare the star pattern with the constellation figure.

OERs in this set:  


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