Friday, 11 January 2013

Look Up - It's Beautiful

One of my other interests that i really enjoy is amateur Astronomy, particularly Lunar and Planetary observing, although i also do some deep sky stuff as well, such as Nebulae and Binary stars.

Ive always had a fascination with the night sky and being that i love being in the outdoors, it fits my life style perfectly, so after a day in the woods or up over the South Downs,  it's not uncommon to find me out after dark, either with a pair of binoculars for a short observing session or if the weather allows, with one of my telescopes looking skywards.

The photo of Saturn above, is one that i took back in 2007 and to this day, looking at the Planets be it the majesty of Saturn & Jupiter to observing the changing phases of Venus to trying to resolve detail of the Polar ice caps on Mars, quite honestly blows my mind, lets put it this way and working with very simplistic numbers, Saturn is approximately 745 million miles away from Earth and the photograph i took of it, using fairly simple equipment, shows cloud bands on the planet and even the shadow of the planet on the ring system, how can that, NOT blow you away?, you are standing in your back garden looking at another world, in fact, you are actually looking back in time, as the light you are seeing has taken a minimum of an hour to travel to you from Saturn and even longer than that, depending on the relative positions of the Earth & Saturn in their respective orbits at any given time.

So next time you are outside after dark, take the time to look up and enjoy the night sky, at the moment the winter sky is amazing, Jupiter is high overhead and even with a pair of 10x50 Binoculars you can see it's a planet and quite easily see the four Galilean moons, if you get up early, you can see Venus & Mercury and just before it's gets dark in the evening, Mars is just about visible on the southern horizon, then of course you have the majesty of the constellation of Orion in the night sky and there is lots to see in there........

1 comment:

  1. Its not just me then, I spend quite a bit of time just gazing into space. I have a Celestron Astromaster 90AZ, but find it shakes a lot when looking at the likes of Saturn or Jupiter. I have tried capturing bits on camera too, but is a bit tricky sometimes.