Jan 29

Bad Astronomy

Bad Astronomy. is a column written by the fantastic Phil Plait, a prominent US Astronomer.  I had to post this link as the current column features an animation that is so inspiring, I feel the need to share it.

I am a very keen stargazer with very little knowledge of the stars as yet. I am learning as I go and find the wonder of it makes me feel more inquisitive each time I look up.  I follow the International Space Station and watch it pass over when ever I can. I use a twitter feed which uses my geographic location to alert me of a new pass and, whenever I can, I drag my audience outside or coax them to look up if I am on stage. Check out http://www.twisst.nl/

I took this photo from my garden one night using quite basic photographic gear.  You just need something that will do a long exposure and point at the right spot in the sky at the right time -Twissts tweets give you all of this information.  On a clear night – we are very lucky to have plenty of these here in the Canary’s – the Space Station is majestic. Again, with very basic binoculars, if the pass is a bright one, you can actually make out the massive solar arrays as they reflect the suns light off them. The Space Station is the streak from left to right.


I am in awe that there are people up there day after day doing stuff that helps us all in some way, even though we may be unaware of it ourselves.  I hope space exploration continues, we maybe looking back in time when we look up at the stars, but I firmly believe they hold the key to our future.

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