Tales of a Starry Night Podcast

Composite image of the Milky Way galaxy by ESO/ S. Brunier

A warm welcome to my podcast page.

Here you will find the links to the most recent episodes of Tales of a Starry Night, a stories & science podcast on the wonders of the night sky, with accompanying notes. I hope you enjoy listening, but more than anything else, I hope they give you the impetus to go out in the dark and look up at the stars. The links below take you to my SounCloud page, but the podcast is also available on Spotify and Apple podcasts.

Links to the 2020 episodes and show notes can be found here.

Please note:

  • Some of the episode contain adult themes – in Greek mythology, Zeus’s famous infidelities are an example. Parents please have a first listen before deciding whether to share with children.
  • In this podcast, I consider what different people have seen in the night sky, and so tell stories from non European cultures. I always do so with full respect and gratitude, but please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any comments.

Pour la version française de cette page et des podcasts, voir Récits d’une nuit étoilée.

Episode 6 : The Big Dipper

Tales & Shapes · Episode 6, The Big Dipper


The story of Callisto can be found in the Lation poet Ovid’s Metamorphosis. I first read about the Micmac’s story in Edwin Krupp’s Beyond the Blue Horizon. His source was Stansbury Hagar whose 1900 article ‘The Celestial Bear’, published in the Journal of American Folklore, is available on archiv.org. The tale of the Septarishis involves elements from the Brahma Purana and the Mahabharata, section CCXXIV.

Ursa Major

Ursa Major from Stellarium. The Big Dipper asterism forms the hindquarters and tail of the bear.

Published 28/09/2020

Episode 7 : The Pleiades

Tales & Shapes · Episode 7, The Pleiades


I was made aware of the possible representation of the Pleiades on the wall of Lascaux by reading The Human Cosmos by Jo Marchant (Cannongate 2020). E.C. Krupp’s Beyond the Blue Horizon caused me to look at Hesiod and I used the 1914 translation of Work & Days by Hugh Evelyn-white. I found the Blackfoot story of the Six Lost Boys on the Virtual Museum of Canada, a website that has now been decommissioned. The version of Matariki I told was inspired by the video on this website, where you can find more information on the Maori New Year.

The Bull and mysterious six dots on the wall of the Lascaux cave. © Ministère de la Culture, Centre National de la Préhistoire, Norbert Aujoulat.

Published 2nd December 2021