Saturday 19 November 2011

The Sky at Night

Well the back problem persists and anybody who has suffered with their backs will know all to well how debilitating it can be, Many years ago i damaged my back at work and there followed a year of sleeping on the floor and a small op to try and get things back to normal, I would not say that its that bad but its like having a toothache in your back-always there and ready to get worse, The nights have been bitterly cold so i have opted to stay in the warm rather than sit it out and get some shots, Your health should always come first,
Now not many people know that i have for a long time had a fascination with the stars and planets and the last few nights have been awesome for clarity, Being out of the city helps as you dont get the light pollution, The skies where i live are not like Africa or India where you dont get any light and cities are hundreds of miles away but they are pretty good, Jupiter and Saturn can be seen easily and if you have a reasonable pair of binoculars the 4 moons around Jupiter are easily seen if you wedge yourself up against something to get a good stable view, I used to have a good telescope which i sold in France and that allowed good views of the Saturn and the rings that go around it, Its an amazing place and just look with your eyes and then through a pair of binoculars and see the difference that extra magnification makes, Its made me want to get another good telescope but the funds just dont allow at the moment, I quite fancy trying some astophotography, The major constellations are in view with Orion dominating the winter sky late at night, I find star gazing to be a great leveller and if things get too much, a small time looking at the stars brings things into some perspective, The North star or polaris is very clear and great to focus on if you want to get perfectly round star trails, The North Star or Polaris is not the brightest star in the sky which a lot of people think, Look at Cassiopeia and follow the top star towards the big dipper and the star in the middle if the North star, Easy when you know what to look for, If you have never really been into the stars or night sky have a look, especially through a pair of binoculars



  1. Hi Dave, sorry to hear about your back, I know only too well the hassle it can give after 30 years working in the building industry. I also understand what it is to able to see the night sky without light pollution since having moved up here. How are you placed for the auroras ? I can't place what latitude you're at.



  2. Hi Robbie
    We are way too low for Auroras unfortunately, We are a 9 hours drive from Orlando Florida, I did have great views of an Aurora once when flying back from Churchill Manatoba, The inside of the plane had a green glow which was weird, We spent the night in Winipeg and the sight was awesome, I would to go back one day just for this, It seems that Churchill is packed full of Japanese in Feb when the Auroras are at their best, They take it was a sign of fertility and after watching it run in and bang the hell out of each other-takes all sorts i guess