Why Catholics Built Secret Astronomical Features Into Churches to Help Save Souls | Atlas Obscura

 

“A Disc of light moves across the cathedral floor. The marble in its path lights up, revealing deeply colored swirls, rich with hues of burgundy, plum, caramel, and ochre. It is ancient rock, stained by terrestrial chemistry and by the infernal pressures of the inner Earth. Its surface is smooth and nearly reflective, testament to extraordinary craftsmanship but also to the effects of hundreds of years’ worth of penitent feet processing through the looming shadows of the church interior. The air smells of smoke and candle wax, and the occasional perfume of a passing tourist.

The source of this light is a hole punched through the roof of the church high above, elaborately accentuated by a brilliant halo of golden rays, painted to resemble the sun. The hole acts like a film projector. Daylight streams through, creating a narrow beam of illumination visible only in the presence of smoke or dust, as if something otherworldly has been forced into material form….”

Read more at the Source: Why Catholics Built Secret Astronomical Features Into Churches to Help Save Souls | Atlas Obscura

Proxima b will be our prime laboratory in the search for extraterrestrial life | Science | The Guardian

Has life gained a foothold on a planet that orbits our nearest star? The question, a variation on one of the greatest mysteries humans have pondered, is now front and centre in astronomers’ minds. The short answer, of course, is nobody knows. But over the coming months, years and decades, scientists will throw every instrument and clever technique they have at Proxima b, an Earth-sized planet warmed by a small, cool star in Centaurus, to find out.

Source: Proxima b will be our prime laboratory in the search for extraterrestrial life | Science | The Guardian

The Most Inaccessible Places in the World People Desperately Want To Visit | Atlas Obscura

We looked in the Atlas for places where the most people marked “want go to,” but have no actual visitors—yet.

 

These eight places are by our count the most desirable of the utterly untrodden. If you are one of the lucky few to have witnessed the glowing Milky Seas or venture across Devil’s Bridge, let us know! These incredible places are waiting for their first explorer.

 

Read more at the Source: The Most Inaccessible Places in the World People Desperately Want To Visit | Atlas Obscura