Read More

The sky of June – The Rising of the Galaxy

Out I went and nothing prepared me for what I saw that night. On the pitch dark sky of Wairarapa, with luscious hills that hold the horizon in sweet curves that rest the eye, a luminous whirlpool of stars was erupting from the east. Silver river of stars, one of its arms was meandering the eastern horizon in oval arched loops like an octopus’s arm that passed a Southern Cross marking the 12 o’clock position on the celestial time keeper of the south. The galactic arm was thinning down towards the western horizon and righteously so as the further we go from Scorpius and Sagittarius, we are actually looking towards the outskirts of our galaxy, where fewer stars venture. I stood there in silence watching the slow rising of the Galaxy and I realised that it was for the first time in my life when I was truly seeing it with my eyes.

Read More

The sky of March – The Shining Ones

At the fringe of our milky city of stars, on the north-western horizon, the Pleiades, the Shining Ones (Te Tawhiti) are preparing for the journey to the underworld. They are to disappear shortly behind the Sun and will stay there for a while.

And the explanation goes that since people of old did not really have an explanation about space, in trying to figure out where exactly the Pleiades went, they invented a underworld. This is probably one of the reasons why this group of stars is so linked to stories of death, rebirth, and ancestors, and used to mark the beginning of the year in some cultures.

Me being me... I'm feeling rather energised, even if this is a loooong drive, because driving always makes me feel fluid and relaxed. And now I’m just melting into the black asphalt and into the darkness of the night at [...] kms/hour with zero stars above, less distracting anyway (if ya know what I mean...) and I’m haunted no more by thoughts, I’m a fugitive - running from civilisation.

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.

Read More

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