The first time Roxane had seen an eclipse, she had been seven years old.
Hiding from their parents, though her brother had always had more freedom than she did, the twins had absconded to the roof. As the home they lived in (a term that she used loosely, even now) was yet another way of their parents’ to show that they were better than everyone else because of their money and bloodlines was huge even by the standards of a manor, they had always had quite some time to themselves. After all, their tutors were more-or-less on the twins’ side, s were most of the servants, so their parents wouldn’t even know they were ‘missing’ for a few hours yet. Circumstances aside, Roxane could remember that she had been crying, though about what she had long forgotten. René had done is best to comfort her, but her attention had been quickly stolen by a darkening of the sky. She hadn’t known then that lunar eclipses came in two different types, hadn’t even known that they were watching an eclipse until her twin had told her, but the memory would always remain with her.
That had been the moment when she realized that she loved the night sky, beyond simply thinking that the stars were cool and the constellations interesting to learn. It might have been an altogether odd thought for a child that wasn’t even quite eight years old, but she had had it all the same, and it had been what spawned her lifetime love of astrology, astronomy, and astrophysics. From that night on, her casual interest had quickly morphed into a voracious need to know everything that she could know about the night sky. She had devoured any and every book that she could find related to stars, planets, or space in general. Looking for information on eclipses as a starting point, she had learned that the one she and René had witnessed had been specifically a penumbral eclipse, where the moon only passed through the Earth's outer shadow, rather than its’ total shadow. For her next birthday, less than two months after that night, she had begged her aunt for a telescope.
As for the eclipses that happened here in Elysian, Roxane had found a strange fondness for them. They were total lunar eclipses, or as near to what stood for one in this world as she could gather. They also held their own sort of illumination, one that was fairly strong, something that was rather distinct from those on Earth. In short, she found them fascinating, but her work usually kept her from studying them closely. After all, astrophysics wasn’t the study of the positions or motions in space of heavily bodies, but the study of their nature. Usually, she was too busy studying the sun, other stars, galaxies, extrasolar planets, the interstellar medium, and the cosmic microwave background, to even think about eclipses. (She also studied the emissions of the aforementioned heavenly bodies – luminosity, density, temperature, and chemical composition – across all parts of the electromagnetic spectrum, but that wasn’t relevant just then.)
For now, however, she was enjoying the eclipse itself, perched on a fountain.
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