Embedded Player Moiya McTier says the night sky has been fueling humans' stories about the universe for a very long time, and informing how they explain the natural world. In fact, Moiya sees astronomy and folklore as two sides of the same coin.

"To me, science is any rigorous attempt at understanding and explaining the world around you," she explained to Short Wave's Aaron Scott. "You can see that they knew enough about the world around them to predict eclipses, to predict annual floods in Egypt, for example. I think that you can use folklore and mythology to understand the early scientific attempts of humanity."

Moiya McTier is the author of The Milky Way: An Autobiography of our Galaxy. She joins us to draw out the connections between astronomy and folklore, why the night sky is more dynamic than it might look, and what it feels like to live on an astronomical timescale.