Do Stars Really Not Twinkle?

I confess that sometimes I don’t know how stories make it in to my news feeds.  It’s a bit like how Facebook keeps suggesting I should become friends with people I’ve only spoken to over work e-mail or people who are friends of someone who has unfriended me.  There’s a link there, but it shouldn’t be or I don’t know what it is.

And so it was last week when I came across a story that ranked alongside Father Christmas Isn’t Real (when everyone knows he is) but later turned in to “The No Sh*t, Sherlock” Story Of The Week.  It was the news that, despite the famous rhyme, stars do not actually twinkle.

As my childhood was quietly shattering in to shards of broken dreams and wishes, my eyes quickly scanned to the “Please tell me it isn’t so!” explanation which is, of course, so staggeringly obvious that I knew it already.

If one was in Space, the stars would be solid and constant specs of light.  The twinkle we see is caused when the light from the star gets distorted in our atmosphere.

The fussy person in me (otherwise known as “Me”) started debating whether we really can say that a star doesn’t twinkle for that reason.  The light source is constant, sure, but it does appear to twinkle.  In these circumstances, are we sure we can’t say that a star doesn’t twinkle?

Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to 83unsungheroes.co.uk, where we debate the real issues!

Golden lights displaying your name
Golden lights it’s a terrible shame
But oh my darling
Why did you change?

Boy in a million, idol, a big star
I didn’t tell you how great you were
I didn’t grovel and scream
And rip your brand new jacket at the seams

You made a record, they liked your singing
All of a sudden the phone stops ringing
Ah … I never thought that you would let
The glory make you forget

Golden lights displaying your name
Golden lights it’s a terrible shame
But oh my darling
Why did you change?

Top ten idol, king of your age
Who do you turn to when you’re backstage?
Don’t you remember you once knew a girl
You loved her more than the world

Is life always like this, brother?
Good for one side but bad for another
I must put you behind me tonight
‘Cause you belong to the lights

Those golden lights displaying your name
Golden lights it’s a terrible shame
But oh my darling
Why did you change?

Oh, oh my darling
Why?
Why did you change?

Golden Lights by The Smiths (and covered by Twinkle)

Comments 2

  1. Eleanor Parks

    Surely, to say that stars don’t twinkle based on the perspective of light, is akin to saying that the sun disappears at night, or that the moon disappears in the morning? Neither is true, and yet it appears to be so from our perspective. Therefore, from our perspective, stars twinkle!

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