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Ask Marilyn: The Changing Night Sky

Mike Ruckman of Norman, Oklahoma, writes:

Marilyn: If the universe is in constant motion at great speeds, why are we still seeing the same constellations that the ancients saw thousands of years ago?

Marilyn responds:

The constellations we see aren't quite the same. They are slightly distorted versions of the constellations that ancient people saw and named. The reason we wouldn't notice much difference—Castor and Pollux still look like friends—in a few thousand years is because the stars are so far away. But someday, Castor and Pollux won't even look like people, let alone pals.



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