Category: StarryTelling

Cloudy Nights

Mention the words “cloudy night” to a star gazer, and they’ll mumble and grumble and say something like “Might as well get some sleep.” Of course in the southern hemisphere this takes on a whole different meaning. Cloudy night in this treasure trove of heavenly delights refers to an evening exploring our companion galaxies, the large and small Magellanic Clouds. And for northern star gazers this is very high (if not number 1) on the must see list. How amazing it must be to see another galaxy so large that you could fit 20 full moons across its diameter. That’s the Large Magellanic Cloud (LMC), and for the Small Magellanic Cloud (SMC) we’re looking at about 9 full moons. Let’s spend a moment exploring these clouds.

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Peter Detterline – From the NorthS

I smiled every morning in Chile watching Orion rise toes first in the sky. It might put a smile on your face to watch him peek above the horizon as he rises in the northern hemisphere. We all have a unique perspective of the universe, and our lives due to our experiences. When you look up, be humbled by the vastness of the universe, but above all keep learning and put a smile on your face, be filled with the joy that is the universe, and let that wonder take you to new possibilities.

In the Sky in September 2015

You can read in detail about The Sky of September here. It will be the same year after year, Pluto and all.

Relax, Pluto WILL not go anywhere soon

In fact  Pluto takes 248 years to orbit the Sun as it orbits at an average distance of 5.9 billion km from the Sun, while Earth only orbits at 150 million km. This means that it will take Pluto almost 20 years to shift into another constellation.

Everything else you need to know

Well, after spending about and around nine years in the dark at Carter Observatory, doing what I always called the awesomest job in the world, I heard a siren call and did what felt right. So Saturday I had my last planetarium presenting show (s) in this shape and form. And just like in the movies, on my last shift, a lady came to me and grabbed me by the arm after the show. (Need I say that nobody ever grabbed me like that in nine years of working here.) She looked me in the eyes, leaned towards me and said:
"I loved your show. I can see how much passion you have for your job. I hope you will always keep that alive!"
and then, vanished through the door, smiling ... I did not even have time to blink before she disappeared so the melodrama moment never quite took off but I did think "um, oops actually this is my last show..."

Lost in the Southern Hemisphere?

Finding directions from the stars has never been easier. In the modern times, everyone has a phone app.

However, there are some old tricks just in case you run out of battery. Having said that, my colleague and cartoonist Eugene G and me (still unable to get over my engineering degree) are preparing an engineer’s guide to finding South by the stars.
In the meantime, here is the description of how to do that anyway with or without maps.

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Latest updates on the Wellington (Sedon) earthquake

Today at 2:31 PM NZST all Wellingtonians stopped working and instead, instantly occupied the space “under the tables for all the wrong reasons”. Immediately after that, in a perfect orchestration, everyone vacated their working places! Wellington’s CBD suddenly become alive as people started their silent march down the hill – since nobody could talk on the phone due to the network overload! Why down the hill nobody knows but fact is that the entire working force of Wellington acted in solidarity, for once, today, in a new type of strike … the strike slip!!