When I was in middle school a friend of mine made his own reflector telescope, including grinding his own lens. For Christmas that year I also got a small reflector telescope and spent hours in the heat of a summer nights and the frigid air of winter nights viewing the wonders of the craters on the moon, the ‘canals’ of Mars, the rings of Saturn, and the moons of Jupiter. I remember the excitement of seeing the Orion Nebula in the belt of The Constellation of Orion. There was joy is seeing the Seven Sisters, a group of bright stars clustered together and many far off galaxies. My friend and I had read about the giant Southern Cross Constellation south of the equator and we wondered if we would ever be somewhere on the Earth to ever see it. I was teaching in Kenya at a bush school when I first saw the Southern Cross and was almost overwhelmed with emotion.
In my three novels the young nephew Darach helps a friend build a telescope. They are viewing the Constellation Draco the Dragon when his uncle Rubus realizes something is wrong and he takes it as an omen. Using the magical herb of Basil they conjuror up the great dragon, Prometheus and he gives them a warning and a riddle. A creature is destroying all plant life on Earth and it has fallen on Darach and his Uncle Rubus to save the planet.
Throughout the three novels Astronomy has a role. Young Darach finds clues in the Constellation of Orion. At the beginning and ending of each novel there is The Keeper of All Things who sits on a throne in the heavens forbidden to intervene as she watches the turmoil on Earth unfold.
For those interested in the exploration of Space, a probe, New Horizons was launched nine years ago from Earth and has traveled over 3 billion miles to reach Pluto far out in the dark cold icy reaches of our Solar System. On board is a small vile with a few ashes of the man, Clyde Tombaugh, who discovered Pluto. In the next couple of days the small craft will be flying close to Pluto and taking some exciting photos. It has been discovered small Pluto, that has been taken out of the class of being a planet, has five small moons orbiting it in erratic orbits. One of the moons, Charon is nearly half the size of Pluto.
While my novels center on plant conservation and the world of witches and magical herbs, I wanted to incorporate the majesty, mystery, and wonderment of the heavens into my novels. RL Patterson