A minor moment of coolness in the urban context...

>> Wednesday, July 16, 2008

...realizing that the one bright star visible left of the moon in a sky saturated with light pollution isn't a star....




(Just to be clear, we're not talking about Nunki, in Sagittarius, which I can't see at all in the downtown Charlotte sky. We're talking about the other bright object labeled in the screenshot.)

If I had a tripod, I'd take a picture. Unfortunately, lacking a tripod, any picture I take is merely a bluuuuuuur. Hence the illustration via KStars. (Incidentally, if you're a KDE/Linux user, KStars is a pretty awesome little piece of software. Just saying.)

As for you folks in dark, remote places: look up, and enjoy. And if you have a telescope, it might be worth pulling it out in a little bit if it's a cool, dry night, eh? Those of us city folks will just have to settle for the one or two glittery things we can see, and imagine a spectacle out there somewhere.

6 comments:

MWT Wednesday, July 16, 2008 at 10:05:00 PM EDT  

Yay Jupiter! :)

I seem to see Jupiter, Mars, and Venus fairly regularly. You should be able to see Venus, even in an urban context.

Tania Wednesday, July 16, 2008 at 10:50:00 PM EDT  

Waaaah. I won't be able to see stars for about another 5 or 6 weeks. Stupid living near the top of the planet seasonality axial-tilt hours and hours of daylight grawerr waaah boohiss.

Uh. Now that I'm done incoherently ranting, cool software. Enjoy the show.

lucky bastard

Eric Wednesday, July 16, 2008 at 11:07:00 PM EDT  

Venus and Mars are sometimes visible in the city. But not right now: Venus is below the horizon, and Mars is too close to the western horizon to be visible from my condo (or most locations within the city, probably; KStars says it sets in about 10 minutes in this vicinity).

The other planet up near the Moon and Jupiter tonight--or ex-planet, depending on who you ask--is Pluto. Which isn't visible in the city at all.... :-D

I was trying to figure out what kind of spectacular night sky they must be getting in Alaska tonight. As far as I can tell from KStars, it looks like the Ecliptic is pretty close to the horizon--it looks like the planets barely rise at all this time of year. Meanwhile, I have to wonder if stars rise in Brooklyn at all. I wouldn't be surprised if Morgantown has a decent sky. If light pollution isn't too bad in Denver, our Coloradians have the altitude for a proper sky.

How's it looking out there?

Eric Wednesday, July 16, 2008 at 11:09:00 PM EDT  

(Looks like Tania confirmed what I was seeing when I played around with KStars geographic settings using Michelle's awesome UCFer list. Sorry to hear the bad news confirmed! It looks like you're getting five hours of darkness this time of year, or did I misread something in the KStars info box I was looking at?)

Tania Wednesday, July 16, 2008 at 11:13:00 PM EDT  

It's not dark, it's twilight. The sun dips below the horizon, but it's not like the light goes away. For another month or so.

I love traveling in the summer, because it is WARM and DARK. Growing up here, you associate DARK with COLD. DARK and WARM = WEIRD to kids from up here. Seriously.

So, enjoy those stars for me for next month or so. Then I'll be all over it!

Nathan Thursday, July 17, 2008 at 8:03:00 AM EDT  

Alaska's sun doesn't set this time of year. Brooklyn's sun sets, but then we raise our own. Not so much with the stars unless you go to the middle of a big park...with bodyguards.

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