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I wish to look up at the sky and be dazzled...


stolenfeather
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This year has been a horrible year for stargazing for me.  This is due to the unbearable cold which is why my postings have been few and far between.   I have taken my telescope out a few times but have come back inside with little except unbelievable pain due to frostbite.  My husband and I are planning a vacation in the south to escape the winter's clutches for the end of April.  Teaching as far north as I do (James Bay) means that we do not have a March Break like other schools, but need to wait until the geese fly north which signals the traditional hunt for the aboriginal people of this region.  Since I a non-native I pack up for a well deserved vacation but where to go?

My husband was thinking of heading to Barbados which is not quite at the equator.  I'm assuming that the southern skies will not be visible at that latitude.  I often wish to look at the night sky and be utterly bewildered.  Imagine, not have one recognizable constellation, see a sky never seen before and experience the same awe one feels when first looking at the stars as a youngster.

Have any of you experienced it?  Seen the complete opposite night sky that you are accustomed to?  Did you try and map the skies right away or did you immerse yourself in the awe of knowing nothing?

I guess I should quote my favourite philosopher here:  "I know that I am intelligent because I know that I know nothing"  Socrates

Isabelle

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Hi Isabelle,

Sorry to hear about your dire winter, if it makes you feel any better our winter (not that we had one) was just as bad, but for completely different reasons (very very mild and so much water that thousands of homes and farms have been under water for months).

I went to the Maldives for my honeymoon a few years ago, that was 1 degree north, so I could see almost the entire southern sky. However it was full moon slap bang in the middle of the holiday so spoilt the views somewhat.

Remember that you do not need to be in the Southern Hemisphere to see objects down there. I was in Texas back in '89 and viewed Omega Centauri, so the further you get towards the equator the more you can see.

Cheers

Ant

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Hi Isabelle,

You must be a true die-hard astronomer, enduring frostbite for the hobby!

Regarding dazzling skies: I have been to Cape Town and Sydney Australia (twice), and the skies are wonderful there. I was in Sydney in March and April (autumn) some years back, and in Cape Town round Xmas (high summer), and had very good weather in both cases. Highly recommended, but not cheap. Cape Town was a family visit, but Sydney was for work, so I did not have to pay myself. In both cases all I had were 15x70 bins (my old BA1 Omegons, not the much better quality Helios I have now), and that already showed loads of good stuff.

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Hi Isabelle,

I used to live in aruba once upon a time, which is 7 degrees north of the equator, I can tell you that on a moonless night you' d be able to see the milkyway and a good part of the northern and southern sky.

Michael

Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD

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I went on my honeymoon to Tanzania, and will confess to being completely confused by the night sky for quite a while! Two reasons, firstly just the sheer number of stars visible, we were on Safari so as near to zero LP as I have experienced. Secondly just the orientation of everything was highly confusing!

Have you thought about having a play around with Stellarium? You could put different locations and dates in and that may help you choose where to go? Making sure the moon is not full is also very important.

I sometimes seem determined to give myself frostbite by observing in crocs and shorts even on cold nights! ;-) I hope your weather warms up a bit soon, ours is distinctly mild in comparison.

Cheers,

Stu

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That's a great idea Stu! I forgot about changing my location with Stellarium I will do that tonight. I will also follow Ant's suggestion and see what times I can see the Southern Hemisphere from Barbados. Let's hope that as Michael says, there is no moon in the sky!

Oh my gosh Ant! How dare I complain about mere frostbite when people have lost so much due to water damage. I hope the weather dries up soon in your region.

I'm happy you like the quote Cath, it's one of my favourites. I tell it to my students often and many actually have taken the habit of saying it with me!

Clear skies everyone!

Isabelle

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