Tie In The Sky

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YOUR ques­tions about neck­wear in outer space, an­swered by tie-lov­ing D:REAM stargazer PRO­FES­SOR BRIAN COX Dear Brian, Do as­tro­nauts wear ties? And if so, do they have to be much big­ger than nor­mal ties in or­der to fit around their hel­mets? Marvin Sim­ple, Peters­field

Brian says: As­tro­nauts do not in fact wear ties. The rea­son they don’t wear ties is sim­ple: the lack of grav­ity in a space­ship means that any loose, dan­gling neck­wear would in­evitably drift up­wards, po­ten­tially get­ting caught in the ves­sel’s in­tri­cate ma­chin­ery, and thus en­dan­ger­ing the lives of the crew. This is also why you don’t see as­tro­nauts wear­ing scarves, ban­danas or those Aus­tralian hats with corks on them.

Dear Brian, We’ve all heard of Orion’s Belt, but are there any as­tral con­stel­la­tions out there in the shape of a tie? Ed­mund Catas­tro­phe, Lin­coln

Brian says: Tech­ni­cally, any two stars in the night sky can be con­nected to­gether with a straight line to make a tie-like con­stel­la­tion, which the Greeks would γραβάτα”. have called “Since there are an in­fi­nite num­ber of stars in the sky, there are there­fore twice in­fin­ity tie-like con­stel­la­tions. Un­for­tu­nately, af­ter nam­ing the first two they γραβάτα γραβάτα spot­ted “Ma­jor” and “Mi­nor”, they would of ran out of names to call them and went off to make some rude vases or in­vent the Olympic Games in­stead.

Dear Brian, Ac­cord­ing to the Mul­ti­verse The­ory, there must be one uni­verse out there in the vast ex­panse of space in which as­tro­nauts do wear ties. Does this mean you were wrong ear­lier when you said that they didn’t? Jeff Corpse, Lewisham

Brian says:says The­o­ret­i­cally, yes, but in re­al­ity, no. Be­cause even if I am wrong in this uni­verse, there is an­other uni­verse where I was right. So stick that in your pipe and smoke it.

Dear Brian, Do you think aliens wear ties? D Icke, Isle of Wight

Brian says: f you look at pic­tures of aliens, they al­ways seem to have long, spindly fin­gers - ideal for ty­ing knots - so I would say that, yes, they prob­a­bly do wear ties. How­ever, we can­not know for cer­tain whether they wear them all the time for work or just on for­mal oc­ca­sions. It all de­pends whether they have shirts with col­lars or pre­fer a more modern-look­ing polo neck.

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