Wednesday, 10 January 2007

Star gazing

I was going to blog about straw-necked ibis (Threskiornis spinicollis) and then get at least 500 more words of novel out of the way, but the International Space Station sidetracked me. As it does.

To be precise, the Cosmos 2082 rocket body sidetracked me. According to Heavens Above, it passed overhead at just before 10pm. I didn't see it. So I had a look for the ISS, which went by at 10.30pm. Unfortunately, it was too close to the horizon, so I missed that as well. I'm about to try for another rocket—Cosmos 1943—which is due to zip between Sirius and whichever star it is that's on Orion's right knee. No, not Rigel. The other one.


Back again. Bingo!. Three of them in one go. The Cosmos 1943 rocket body and Okean 1-7 satellite (both heading on similar tracks) and the Orbus 7S rocket body* crossing paths with them in the other direction. They all hurtled past Sirius like entrants in a stock car race.

The light pollution in this part of Melbourne is pretty bad but the bright stars are visible. I can see the Pleiades and even the milky fingerprint of the Orion Nebula. I'd forgotten what they all were. Now I'm rediscovering the joy of star gazing**.

* I'm getting this from Heavens Above. I don't know a satellite from a piece of space junk. Encyclopedia Astronatuica also has more information than you can poke a probe at.

** I'll get back to the ibis tomorrow.

1 comment:


I remember the summer nites about 30 years ago in southwestern Turkey when we could see a tremendous number of stars in the sky along with passing satellites. Now, with all the light pollution, one would be lucky if one could spot the moon.