Saturday, December 18, 2010

Lazybones day

kw: observations, weather, astronomy

Yesterday I took a day off from everything except reading. Reading is how I relax. I am in the middle of a great book about misuse of science, which will get reviewed here in another couple of days.

Early the last two mornings, when I went out to get the paper at the end of the driveway, the sky was clear like it seldom is in this region. The snow we had a day ago blew through and cleared the skies in a spectacular way. Prominent in the western sky I saw the Gemini, mainly the stars Castor and Pollux, but the dimmer stars that outline the Twins were also visible. This time of year in the evening sky one finds Orion due south, but by morning it has set. Then, high in the eastern sky Venus was like a headlamp in its "morning star" apparition.

Although I like living in this area (a suburb south of Philadelphia), the skies are typically not worth looking at. That's one thing I miss about living in the Dakotas, where we had great skies most nights of the year, and I didn't have to drive that far out of town to get rid of the sky glow from the city. When I retire I expect to visit places with dark skies, if not actually move to one of them. There is nothing like sitting up all night with a telescope and a good sky map.

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