As the nights draw in and the air becomes a little crisper, it’s a sure sign that Winter is on it’s way. Even though the cold air might not be something to look forward to for most, the Winter months do provide us with many opportunities that a nice warm Summer may not. If the scenery on land isn’t enough to keep you occupied, (amongst trudging through muddy paths) how about turning your head up to the sky?
The world above us may be a constant, but nothing quite beats a Winter sky for clarity, and being able to see your breath only reminds us of just how tiny we are in the grand scheme of things. Nothing quite beats donning a wooly hat and scarf, and toasting some marshmallows on a fire whilst gazing at the stars.
Planet Earth has had a lot to look forward to this year, what with both Solar and Lunar eclipse’s, several Meteor showers, and NASA’s new high resolution pictures of distant ‘dwarf planet’ Pluto, we’ve been spoilt for choice for celestial activity.
NASA’s New Horizons captured these images of Pluto
Images Courtesy of http://www.nasa.gov
It’s not over yet, we’ve still some Planetary events left to witness.
On October 26, Venus and Jupiter will be in close correlation again, which makes for an interesting sight if you can grab a hold of a telescope. A sight to behold from mid October to mid November is the Taurid Meteor shower . Nothing quite matches the awe of seeing shooting stars in the sky, and this one is expected to have ‘fireball meteors’! On December 13 to 14 the Geminid Meteor shower will take place, which boasts to have up to two meteors a minute. This particular shower, will be highly visibly due to the early setting of the Winter’s Crescent Moon.
The joy of watching Celestial events is that almost anyone can do it, just look up! If you’d like a closer inspection, a pair of Binoculars never fails. We’ve got several here at Little Rockit HQ, we like to keep them at hand for those later nights…
If it’s a more informed viewing you’re after, why not pick up a Sky Atlas? It always helps to know where you need to look, and interesting to know exactly what it is you’re looking at. Below features Sky and Telescope’s ‘Pocket Sky Atlas’ available to purchase here, and a Field Guide to Stars and Planets available here.
If you’re after a close encounter with our wonderful Solar system, then a telescope is a must. They can be pricey, but if you’re interested, a telescope can provide hours of insightful entertainment.
Whether it’s mapping the stars, or just having a friendly gathering under the night’s sky, we hope you enjoy it as much as we do. If you’re yet to experience a Meteor shower, or any of the celestial phenomenon we’ve talked about, give it a go! It’s right there, above your head!