Daily Archives: December 21, 2010

Chilly Scenes of Winter

In the seventeenth century extreme weather, like eclipses, was still an expression of “wonder” or God’s will.  The winter of 1683-84 was an especially wonderful one, with the occurence of the “Frost Fair” enabled by the rarely frozen Thames River.  Nearly 20 years earlier, the amazing Robert Hooke, natural philosopher, mathmetician, architect, and the Surveyor of the City of London after the Great Fire, published amazing images of wonderful snowflakes in his Micrographia.


And finally today.  The view from my bedroom window:  looking westward on Chestnut Street, Salem, Massachusetts on the shortest day of 2010.

Celestial Happenings

The last lunar eclipse to occur on the Winter Solstice was in 1638—just a few years later this pamphlet by William Lilly (from the British Library’s Images Online Collection) heralded another “starry messenger” during the English Civil War:

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