7
$\begingroup$

To find me you need look no further than behind the eye,

Take your time to ponder and you'll see me in the sky,

I can be shorter than a week or longer than a year,

I repeat myself, repeat myself, repeat myself I fear,

So large I am at times that I'm best observed from space,

Yet so small I can be that I'm right before your face!

What am I?

$\endgroup$
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ You are Brent Hackers. Didn't we go through this already? $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Oct 13 '16 at 11:53
  • $\begingroup$ @GarethMcCaughan All this time away and you're still making that joke? I dare you to post it as an answer! Ha ha! $\endgroup$ – Brent Hackers Oct 13 '16 at 11:59
  • $\begingroup$ Sorry! (By which I mean: Not sorry at all.) $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Oct 13 '16 at 12:01
6
$\begingroup$

I think you might be an

ORBIT.

[Title:] Abstract, Mysterious & Chewable!

Not sure about "Mysterious", but (1) the notion of "orbits" is found e.g. in the pure-mathematical field of group actions, related to abstract algebra and (2) Orbit is a brand of chewing gum.

To find me you need look no further than behind the eye,

The orbit is an anatomical term for the eye socket.

Take your time to ponder and you'll see me in the sky,

Planets have orbits around the sun (and stars around the centre of the galaxy).

I can be shorter than a breath or longer than a year,

Orbital periods can be very long or very short. I don't know of any astronomical objects with orbits "shorter than a breath", though, and the submicroscopic things that would give much quicker orbits are better understood in quantum-mechanical terms for which the notion of "orbit" isn't quite the right thing.

I repeat myself, repeat myself, repeat myself I fear,

Orbits are periodic.

So large I am at times that I'm best observed from space,

If e.g. you want to identify exoplanets by observing their periodic effects on the stars they orbit, you do best to use something like the Hubble Space Telescope.

Yet so small I can be that I'm right before your face!

Perhaps this is about eye sockets again. Or maybe artificial things like gyroscopes?

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ You got it. Quick as always. +1 $\endgroup$ – Brent Hackers Oct 13 '16 at 12:00
  • $\begingroup$ (Explanations there now. There are a couple, related to the short/small ones, that I'm not too clear about.) $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Oct 13 '16 at 12:01
  • $\begingroup$ You had in relation to subatomic particles. The term may not mean the same thing in that context but then neither was the "Chewable" connection. ALSO well done on the "abstract" connection... I didn't have one! That was just me describing the riddle... :) $\endgroup$ – Brent Hackers Oct 13 '16 at 12:03
  • $\begingroup$ Ah, OK. I'm just not sure it makes sense to talk about the time of an orbit in that context. $\endgroup$ – Gareth McCaughan Oct 13 '16 at 12:05
  • $\begingroup$ So I'm learning ...I think $\endgroup$ – Brent Hackers Oct 13 '16 at 12:11
1
$\begingroup$

I think the answer is

LENS.

To find me you need look no further than behind the eye,

Just behind the iris and pupil lies the lens, which helps to focus light on the back of the eye.

Take your time to ponder and you'll see me in the sky,

The lens in a telescope is used to look at the sky.

I can be shorter than a breath or longer than a year,

I repeat myself, repeat myself, repeat myself I fear,

Not sure about these lines.

So large I am at times that I'm best observed from space,

A gravitational lens is a massive object in space.

Yet so small I can be that I'm right before your face!

Contact lenses, or the lenses of a pair of glasses.

$\endgroup$
  • $\begingroup$ It's not lense but it's a good guess with a few good connections +1 $\endgroup$ – Brent Hackers Oct 13 '16 at 11:58

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.