By J.M. Strother

Amy squinted through the eyepiece. The glow from the city dimmed the stars, but the view through Mike’s telescope was still awe-inspiring.“The tail will be visible to the naked eye by late next month,” Mike said as Amy stepped away and turned her face skyward. Mike took his sister’s place at the optics. Eurus was a bluish-white smear just off the star Tucana.

“I never even heard of the Centaurs before,” Amy said as she sat down on the grass.

“You’ve heard of Chiron?”


Mike stepped around the telescope and sat beside her. “It’s a Centaur. People think it’s some kind of moon for Pluto or something, but it’s not. It was the first Centaur they discovered. They find more all the time.”

She looked over at Mike and smiled. Her big brother was now famous – the seventeen-year-old amateur astronomer who first discovered this new outer solar system body. She could not help but feel some pride for him.

As the person who discovered it Mike got to pick its name. She wanted him to name it Amy, but he just laughed at that. He chose Eurus – the Greek god of the southeast ill winds.

They both laid back and gazed up at the stars. It would not be long before their parents called them back to the campsite.

“What will it be like when it gets here?” Amy asked.

He turned his head away, a tear escaped from his eye. “Well,” he said, “things will be different.”

The wind shifted and smoke from the burning city below began to obscure the sky. ~ © 2011 by J. M. Strother, all rights reserved.

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