My colleague, Dr Andrew Taylor, produced Christmas cards (image above) showing the Southern Cross and its two pointers in Hagley Park, Christchurch.

I suggested the following words:

In the darkness, The Southern Cross is always there, offering us a sure sense of direction as we await the coming of the Light.

Andrew had been working with students and other staff of Christ’s College, Canterbury, where I serve as Chaplain, to set up radar corner reflectors into Hagley Park in the shape of the Southern Cross and its pointers. The European Space Agency satellite Sentinel-1A conducted its radar sweep of Canterbury, New Zealand around 06:31 local time, All Souls Day, producing the image you see.

All proceeds from selling the cards are going to the City Mission.

Earlier this year, Andrew was a guest speaker at SuperVOSS 2019, the Vatican Observatory’s conference for its summer school alumni. Andrew’s presentation, “Astronomy Looking Down”, focused on how science can use astronomical techniques and satellite imaging systems to observe what’s happening on earth, detailing how he has applied these techniques in his own research.

You can find out more about all this on Andrews blog site, Astronomy Looking Down.

If you are in Christchurch next year on Thursday evening, 27 February 2020, Andrew will present in the Chapman Room at Christ’s College for the Centre for Ethics & Spirituality. His address is entitled, “View from the Heavens.” You are all very welcome!

In my conversations with Andrew, the number of Golden Ratio rectangles in the plan of Christchurch came up – it’s an area (pun) that I had not heard of before, but it may not have been accidental in the nineteenth century city planning. If you know more about that – do share that information.

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