Wednesday, October 6, 2010

All You Have To Do Is......

Look up - safely ;-) - to enjoy the night sky.

Skywatching in its simplest form is what human beings have been doing since they first stood erect eons ago. They would have huddled together at night for warmth and safety. In a sky free of light pollution thousands of what we know to be stars would have been visible. And our own Miky Way Galaxy would have been quite a sight to them.

They didn't know what it was they were seeing but the same astronomical objects we see today, so did they. The sky of then is not significantly different from our sky of now except for light pollution in metrpolitan areas.

Did they wonder at night by moonlight? What did they think of when they saw the source of light and warmth disappear and the dark and cool begin to prevail? Solar and lunar eclipses, meteor showers, fireballs and bright comets must have been either wondrous or terrifying to our ancestors.

 Today we have the luxury of knowledge about the Universe and night sky. But skywatching is getting back to  basics. Looking at the sky is pleasing and not unlike fishing....cast your eyes skyward and you never know what you might see beyond the expected.

Try to find a safe and convenient place to look at the sky. Perhaps from your own bakyard or a nearby spot that offers a clear view of the sky and is free of trees and lights. As we go along I will have observing tips for you and events you can go to observe the sky with others - a star party.

The sky is for everyone to see and enjoy. Try to think of our ancestors next time you are out under the canopy of night. What thoughts would they have had in looking at the distant cold lights above them? What are yours?

Clear Skies

It doesn't take specialized knowledge or equipment.....

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