By Michael Banks
With raps about the Large Hadron Collider at CERN near Geneva and Fermilab in the US, I should have suspected it would only be a matter of time before hearing a song about the International Year of Astronomy (IYA), which is taking place this year.
So here it is. Taking over a year to make, astronomy enthusiast Michael Davis has created a music video about astronomy entitled “Spaced Out”.
Lasting four and half minutes, the video shows astronomers at a park in Patoka Lake, Southern Indiana, US, along with their various telescopes (some quite impressive) getting ready for a night of star-gazing.
The film also features more bizarre, and less well put together, clips such as a woman ice-skating on Saturn’s rings or someone riding a comet. “Put a saddle on a comet, joy-ride ‘til you pull on the reins,” Davis sings.
The main fun of science songs is, of course, the lyrics. The song does have a few catchy lines such as “refraction, reflection, telescopic connection,” and “the universe is yours, to discover, go observe, go uncover”.
However, the chorus is perhaps a bit cheesy (and maybe a little on the unimaginative side): “International Year of Astronomy two thousand nine, International Year of Astronomy two thousand nine” — the repeat and fade out on the ‘nine’ adding an extra layer of cheese. (But if you really like it then you can just speed to the end of the song where it is repeated quite often.)
“The IYA2009 team loved it,” Davis told physicsworld.com. “They then wanted a link to the video on the main IYA2009 website.
The International Year of Astronomy medley is not Davis’s first song about science. He made a music video about the insect world, entitled “I’m Not a Bug Squasher”. So perhaps he could use that video to promote the International Year of Biodiveristy, which is taking place next year.