Watching The Sky Part I

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Where, when, and how to observe the sky?

Astronomy is a beautiful pastime that allows you to escape into space during your spare time and to observe sparkling multicolored stars, ringed planets like Saturn, the crescent of Venus, the sunspots, the innumerable Craters of the Moon, shooting stars or even galaxies.

All you need is an astronomical telescope or a telescope or some beautiful books or educational software richly illustrated. In fact you would need both: a telescope to observe the sky and some books or software to learn more about the stars you observe. We will talk about it again, but above all there are some rules to respect if you wish to observe the sky in good conditions and make the most of your evening.

To observe the sky you must first prepare yourself, know what stars or planets are visible during the night, where to look for them and with which instrument you can observe them. Let’s look at it in detail. To help you, you can consult the Ephemerides in the menu on the left.

1. Where to look at the sky?

You have already noticed that during the night the light dazzles and that it takes time then to see again in the darkness. To observe the sky and see the unlikely stars, you must stay in the dark for at least 5 or 10 minutes so that your eyes become more sensitive to the dim lights. If you use a flashlight, cover the lens with a red filter to prevent it from dazzling you during the night. Otherwise you will have to wait several more minutes to see the sky.

During and after the general blackout of August 14, 2003, which deprived the City of Toronto of electricity.

Unfortunately many places are lit by starting with places close to the dwellings. It is therefore necessary either to extinguish all these lights, which is often impossible, or to move away from several kilometers of all lighting and to place you in a very dark place, in the middle of a field or on a deserted road where no car passes . There you will see many more stars.

Of course as it is night, for your safety you have to go with an adult who can help you find your way and recognize the stars. Also take a GSM. Think also to clothe yourself warmly if you observe the sky during the night. In our temperate countries it often freezes at night between November and April.

Take a flashlight with a red filter, a map or a small atlas of the sky that will help you recognize the constellations and familiar objects to observe.

If you have an instrument, a pair of binoculars, a telescope, a telescope, or a telescope, ask a member of your family to accompany you on the ground because all this material quickly becomes cumbersome and heavy. And then two or more is still more fun!

If you are going to the place of observation by car, it is also useful to bring with you one or two folding chairs, some treats and hot drinks to comfort you, because after one or two hours, Be hungry or want to sit down.

Once on the ground, remember that in the northern hemisphere the stars rise to the east, pass to the south to go to the west, like the Sun or the Moon. Look especially on the south side, for it is the end where the stars ascend the highest in the sky, it is called the South Meridian.

The higher the stars, the darker the sky and the more interesting stars and objects (artificial satellites, shooting stars, Milky Way, etc.). On the other hand, near the horizon you will see only a luminous orange halo emitted by the light of the roads and the lighting of the city. That is why you have to move away as far as possible from these lights because they prevent you from observing the sky. It is said that this light “pollutes” the sky as carbon dioxide and plant fumes pollute the air.

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