Many people are eager to go all the way to world heritage sites, but they even don’t seem to notice that there is a breathtaking view just above our head. It’s the night sky. I think that it’s a shame for all of us to lose the opportunity to see it because of the light pollution in big cities.
Last weekend, I got out of the town and headed to the mountain area to enjoy watching stars in spring. It was a new moon night and the best time for observing stars. Although it was raining when we got there, we were very positive that the sky would clean up by midnight. And, as we expected, the rain stopped. Besides, the rain washed away the dust in the air and sky became nice and clear, which we seldom have a chance to see. How lucky we were!
Some experts operated a few telescopes that were connected to computers. They input some data of the location of stars that we want to watch so that telescopes would automatically start searching them. It’s like an auto pilot system for airplanes. Unless we use computers, it will take a lot of time to focus on the targeted stars because some of them are just itsy-bitsy spots in the sky.
We explored the night sky up until dawn. The stars we watched at night were various. Albireo, which appears to be a single star to the naked eye is actually beautiful double stars through a telescope. The Saturn is an observable bright star with your naked eyes if you don’t expect to see its ring. Some galaxies such as M57 ring nebula, M27 dumb-bell nebula, globular Clusters are really exciting because they are beyond my perception of time and distance.
The Milky Way on that night was incredibly clear and we were able to see the white belt that flew from the Swan to the Scorpion. We also saw some artificial satellites flying across the sky while we were looking up the Milky Way. The more I know about the night sky, the more I like it. It’s very addictive.