Time Will Tell: The Stories of Prague’s Astronomical Clock

I can’t ignore the fact that observations of our universe and storytelling are still inseparable.

Writing and photos by Alex Hanson

Walking through Prague’s Old Town Square is like diving into the pages of a gilded storybook. The wide spaces between the tall, elegant, centuries-old buildings gives the impression of a purposeful manipulation of what pedestrians on the street can and cannot see— as though you were one of many dolls in a very large dollhouse, subject to the story being told around you by an unseen player. It is this feeling that makes the square’s famous astronomical clock seem so mystical.

The medieval astronomical clock, created in 1410, is on the side of a tower of Prague’s Old Town City Hall. It is a huge clock face surrounded by statues, with two windows and a golden rooster above and a calendar with zodiac details below the astrolabe. In a realm lined with gray cobblestones and bronze statues, the clock’s bright blue face and gold details make it one of the most eye-catching parts of the square. Every hour tourists and passing locals gather around the clock to watch its hourly toll, comprised of ringing bells, statues becoming animated, and the two windows opening to reveal statues of the apostles rotating in and out of sight of the crowd below. Continue reading “Time Will Tell: The Stories of Prague’s Astronomical Clock”

Astrophysics, Fashion, and DJ Carly Sagan: An Interview with Emily Rice

People get worried about being on this direct path, especially for something that’s perceived as competitive, like science or academia, but really there’s a lot of people that took a more winding path or forged their own way.

Interview by Alex Hanson

Emily Rice is an astrophysicist, assistant professor at City University of New York, research associate at the American Museum of Natural History, co-founder at the astronomy-meets-fashion blog STARtorialist, host of Astronomy on Tap in New York City, parody video creator, and overall kickass lady. She is a master of combining the expressive and the scientific, and her projects contribute to a sense of community within astronomy, as well as showing the general public that science can be fun and creative. I got to interview Emily over Google Hangout about her work, STARtorialist, and her DJ alter ego. Continue reading “Astrophysics, Fashion, and DJ Carly Sagan: An Interview with Emily Rice”