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Burbidge’s in spaaaace…

Burbidge’s in spaaaace…

On a recent visit to LA, our ‘man on the west coast’ Shann Biglione showed me the Griffith Observatory overlooking the city. The view was stunning, even if my crappy iPhone camera wasn’t up to the job of going it justice.

We had a short chat with a chap who can only described as an ‘Astro Nerd’. He was very unselfishly allowing passers-by to look at a bunch of stars through a telescope. Deep down I know we had some astronomy connections in our family and I mentioned my surname. Astro Nerd squinted, mumbled something about recognising the name but ultimately, wasn’t that impressed.

Googling “Burbidge” (and ignoring all the woodwork results) the main Wikipedia entry is indeed for my great aunt Margaret Burbidge, with a slightly smaller entry for my great uncle Geoffery Burbidge. To my knowledge, I have never met them but a quick scan of the Wikipedia entry, they sound really quite impressive.

In recent years, Geoffery is known mostly for his alternative cosmology theory, which contradicts the Big Bang theory. I actually get where he’s coming from here too. Have a look at his web site and you get the idea.

He also has an asteroid named after him called “11753 FKLG FG RTG Geoffburbidge“. Now pause… take a few moments to think how amazing that is!

Now, if that wasn’t cool enough, Margaret not only has the usual bunch of awards and what-not to her name but is also mentioned on the NASA website for her asteroid, the slightly snappier “5490 Burbidge“. The NASA page has a few sub links, all a bit dry for me but I did manage to glean that said asteroid is in orbit between Mars and Jupiter.

Here’s where it is right now… literally, right now…

Makes me think a little more when I look up at the night sky. I can say hello to old 11753 FKLG FG RTG Geoffburbidge and 5490 Burbidge… if I can remember their names. I may just call them the Burbidgaroids for short but I have a sneaky suspicion that’s a medical affliction. Can’t wait to tell the kids about the Burbidgaroids though.

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