Uranus, viewed through the Subaru Telescope on Hawaii
As the nights draw in, console yourself with the fact that you don’t live on the north or south pole of the planet Uranus.
Because Uranus tilts at an extreme angle of 97%, each pole experiences 42 years in darkness as it points away from the Sun, then 42 years of continuous light.
Odd thought. If you lived to 84 and were born at the start of the Sun cycle, you’d live the first half of your life bathed in sunlight, then the second half in complete darkness. A metaphor for life, some might say.
But if you lived beyond 84, the Sun would return at the end.
Or it could be the opposite way round – 42 years in darkness, followed by 42 in the Sun. I think I’d prefer that.
But you lived beyond 84, the darkness would ominously come back to overshadow your final years.
Not that you’d want to live there anyway. Uranus has ridiculously strong gravity. The atmosphere consists of hydrogen, helium, methane and ammonia. And it has a temperature of minus 216 degrees Celsius.
OK. OK. Yes. I know. I haven’t been peacockshocking much. That’s because I’ve been all over the place. In the last week alone, I’ve been to Whitstable and Seasalter on the Kent coast, London, Gillingham, Stonehenge, Scotland and Oxford. I woke up this morning (having dreamt I was in New York – Queens to be precise) and had no idea I was in Hertford until I heard Bolly miaowing outside the bedroom door and a flock of geese going berserk outside the house.