Recently I went along with a friend to see some Michiana events for the night circus. One of them was a stargazing tour and lecture. It was brilliant. We arrived at Notre Dame University and went to the indoor digitalisation theatre. We settled into our seats and were taking into a journey of the night sky.
I love looking at stars, I don’t know why but I find them incredibly comforting and fascinating. I like that they are steady and constant, even though they aren’t they appear to be. I’ve been lucky enough to live in places where there is little light pollution, one particular village, every evening I came back along a dark winding road and if the sky was clear would have an outstanding view, and this always made me feel instantly at home. I’ve also seen the milky way, which is stunning, if a little disconcerting seeing so many stars at once and not recognising familiar constellations and seeing stars in a slightly different place than I am used to.
As we settled down into the comfy chairs and lay back to see the night sky we were shown common constellations, and how different planets rotated. Moons, and asteroids and what our galaxy looks like. This was fascinating and I’ve since been using my google star map to learn more constellations in the night sky.
Afterwards we had a little tour – the building has the planets orbit built into the floor with gold markings! We went up to the roof where several high powered telescopes were set up. Sadly the light pollution stops any awesome views but it was good to see over the campus and to have time playing around with the telescopes was fun. We were able to sport two planet, Jupiter and Venus which was great to see through the telescopes. We were able to see the red rings on Jupiter and 4 of its moons including the closest one that orbits around in less than day!
I’m looking forward to long summer evenings where its warm enough to lie outside and practice finding constellations and moons. I may even have to find myself some binoculars!