The travelling astronomer in Prague 2

Rosenka children's ensemble

Entertainment at the opening ceremony

This afternoon was the opening ceremony of the General Assembly. This was a most impressive ceremony with lots of speeches, some very good, as well as some entertainment. There were lots of mentions of some of the important astronomy that has been done in Prague during its long history. For example Johannes Kepler worked here as Court Mathematician while establishing that the planets moved in ellipses around the Sun – one of the greatest ever leaps forward in astronomy. A hilarious clip from an old Czech film was shown with Kepler demonstrating the motion of the planets to the King and his courtiers with their glasses of wine. What added spice was that one glass was poisoned and the courtiers were frantically trying to to keep track of it as Kepler whirled the glasses around.

Tomorrow the conference ramps with numerous sessions happening simultaneously and I, like all participants, will have choices to make about which ones to attend. And tomorrow morning the conference newspaper will reveal the proposed definition of a planet. Will it be a compromise arrived by a committee or will it be an imaginative solution? Stayed tuned!!

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