Monday, October 01, 2007


I walk out at night to take a leak
underneath the stars -
oh yeah that's the life for me.
There's Orion and the Pleiades
and I guess that must be Mars -
all as clear as we long to be.

greg brown, from "The poet game"

There are a lot of reasons to like this time of year. The Winter sky is one of them. It is during the winter nights that we are looking in toward the center of our Galaxy and its abundance of Stars. If you will go outside at 5:00 A.M. you will see Orion on the rise and just below him, to the South and East, one of my favorites, Sirius, the Dog Star.

As the Winter passes, they rise earlier until next spring, when you can see them at a more amiable hour in the early evening. By earlier, I mean that at mid-winter they rise around mid-nite.

I especially love to watch Sirius. On a cool crisp morning or evening, when the atmoshere has been cleared by a passing cold front, its light dances from Blue to Purple to Green and Red. No Diamond could begin to match it. Its name comes from the Greek word for "searing" or "scorching"
It is 20 times brighter than our sun and twice the size. It IS NOT the closest Star to us, it just looks that way.


Anonymous said...

hahahahahah - you old dog ....

great avatar - i should have known i was playing with ummm ... nature? (i was going to write 'fire' but it just doesn't work with your avatar ...!!!!)


GrizzBabe said...

So that's why the night sky looks clearer on some nights than others -- because a cold front cleared out the atmosphere.

Ya' learn sumthin' new everyday at Steve's.

Old Lady said...

Plus October is Asteriod month. Watch with me?

Old Lady said...

Exactly what is the buck scratching?

steve said...

No itch, ladies, just a little rearranging from time to time!

October is Asteroid Month? Tell me what to look for and I'll be watching with you!

I know December is the Month that we have the Geminid Asteroid Shower...its different from a Meteor Shower...thats really all I know!