Join Slooh, and our friends at Weathernews Japan, on August 8, 2016 as we make a symbolic crossing of the Milky Way to celebrate the Japanese star festival known as Tanabata. An event that dates back centuries, Tanabata is held each summer to celebrate the meeting of the young lovers Orihime and Hikoboshi, represented by the stars Vega and Altair. The festival is celebrated in many parts of Japan, and similar festivals are held in Korea and China each year during the summer months.
The story of Tanabata was inspired by an ancient Chinese folktale which tells of a poor herd boy (represented by the star Altair) and a humble weaving girl (represented by the star Vega) who were once so lost in romantic distraction that they neglected their duties to their heavenly masters. As punishment, the boy and girl were placed in the sky and separated forever by the Celestial River (the Milky Way). But the heavenly spirits had some compassion. Once a year, on the 7th night of the 7th moon, the lovers were allowed to travel across a bridge that spanned the heavenly river of stars.
During our live show, Slooh astronomers will make a symbolic crossing of the Milky Way as we hop from the stars Vega and Altair across the Milky Way with our remote telescopes to simulate the journey made by Orihime and Hikoboshi each year. During this crossing, our telescopes will explore Vega and Altair themselves and stop to admire a handful of lovely star clusters along the plane of the Milky Way.