Brian May Queen “One Vision” Contest winners announced

Posted by David Eicher
on Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Congratulations to Marvin Long of Austin, Texas, and Philip Knight of Wolverhampton, England, for winning the “One Vision” Contest! Marvin and Philip each will receive a set of Brian May’s London Stereoscopic Company’s astronomical stereo cards along with an OWL viewer, signed by Brian!

Copyright 2002 Arthur Edwards
The magazine received an enormous response from the article I wrote in the January issue, “Brian May’s world of stereo astro pictures,” and the accompanying contest. We received 95 written essays interpreting the meaning of the song “ ’39,” written by Brian, from the 1975 album A Night at the Opera. Nearly all of them were terrific, and the final choices were very hard to make! Brian and I each had fun reading them and pondering the interpretations. The song is about an interstellar journey at very high velocity and the subsequent time dilation effect from relativity.

When the song’s traveler left his planet, he left a wife and young child behind; when he returns, he realizes 100 years have passed and he meets his granddaughter or great-granddaughter (even Brian says, “I’m not really sure!”) and feels the pain of having to live the rest of his life without his beloved wife.

A good many of you got the answer basically right. Congrats again to Marvin and Philip for such amazing pieces of writing. “They are so perceptive, so creative!” says Brian. “Some of it brought a tear to my eye — opening up that drawer of emotions again. I like the science and I like the art! I am very chuffed!”

A special mention goes to Roger Rikken of Bemmel, The Netherlands, for working out the traveler’s velocity — 99.995 percent the speed of light! And special mentions also go to some other finalists who wrote terrific pieces — Qiao Dong of San Diego, California; Ian Harrison of Australia; and Richard L. Matthews of Sierra Vista, Arizona.

To read the two winning essays, see: http://www.astronomy.com/OWL.

Thanks to all who participated!

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