August 14, 1997

Letters to the Editor
Sky & Telescope

Dear Mr. Editor

In your August 97 issue, page 95, there is a chart labeled: "Hale-Bopp's race to the bottom". I thought that the Greek philosophers had established that the world has neither top nor bottom, but just to be sure I decided to investigate the subject myself. After careful consideration I have discovered that we, the inhabitants of Santiago, Chile, live at the top of the world. In fact, each time I compute the real positions of every other country, I end up looking towards the ground. Of course I have to admit that Argentines are almost at our level, and perhaps some of them dwelling up  in the Andes may be even higher than us, but that's just an exception that confirms the general rule.

Definitely you, North Americans, live many thousands of miles below our horizon, and the situation is even worse for Europeans. In fact I am grateful to you for that, because if you lived above my horizon you would block my vision of our beautiful southern skies.

The purpose of this lines is to remind you that there are many people in the world that read your wonderful Sky & Telescope upside down. But, of course, that does not happen in Chile. According to my theory, it is you that read it upside down!

Eduardo Vila-Echagüe
Waterloo 421
Santiago, Chile