Mortal as I am, I know that I am born for a day. But when I follow at my pleasure the serried multitude of the stars in their circular course, my feet no longer touch the earth - Ptolemy
Babe Among the Stars - 05 Feb 09
The fact that you are reading this page at all pre-supposes that you have at least a passing interest in things astronomical. Galaxy Babe has kindly loaned me a few of her column inches to talk about the H2G2 Astronomy Society.
Longer-term Researchers may recall that for some years Hootoo has had its own Astronomy Society, which in the past enjoyed a fairly lively existence with discussion on many matters related to 'Space' and Astronomy. Members even conducted a Perseids meteor watch, and a few tried their hand at a Messier Marathon. Even the Constellations Project first saw light there. But possibly from a lack of direction, interest in the society has, unfortunately, waned in recent years.
2009 has been designated the 'International Year of Astronomy' which celebrates the 400 years since the first primitive telescopes were turned on the heavens and heralded in the modern age of scientific discovery. IYA seeks to promote amateur astronomy in all its forms, and with this in mind we are seeking to revitalise the A/S within Hootoo.
But, to do so, the society needs you. Whatever your interest in astronomy matters, and whatever depth that interest takes, we would like to invite you to cast an eye over the society's pages. There is no requirement to join, but if you feel like doing so, leave your name on the membership page and grab a badge for your own personal space. If you don't feel like joining we would still like to see your contributions, questions or observations.
Updating some pages is still required, but we're working on it. We are going to try to keep the pages topical, so suggestions are welcome.
Here's wishing you clear skies, Deke.
February Diary Dates
Watch out for shooting stars on any clear night. Of course if you should witness something like this bolide do please capture a recording of it on your mobile phone and upload it to the BBC news website!
On 09 February there is a penumbral lunar eclipse viewable from eastern Europe, Asia, Australia and Pacific regions, but NOT the UK. I just updated the lunar eclipse EGE with a new table showing the upcoming lunar eclipses for the next four years, what type of eclipse they are (penumbral, partial or total), and where in the world they can be viewed.
09: February's Full Moon is called the 'Snow Moon'. Some Native American cultures also associated it with famine and hunger.
17: Antares (alpha Scorpii) will be occulted by the Moon if you're skywatching from Australia. From the UK they will appear just 0.04° apart.
22: Mercury will be just one degree south of the Moon. Mercury is easily seen in binoculars if you know where to look, so good luck; last quarter Moon rises at midnight so wrap up warm!
23: Jupiter will be half a degree south of the Moon.
24: Mercury will be half a degree south of Jupiter.
25: New Moon
27: Glorious Venus will partner the tiny sliver of a first quarter Moon even closer than they were this time last month — just over a degree will separate them.
Chat about your celestial observances at the H2G2 Astronomy Society. Comment on anything in this edition of Babe Among the Stars by starting a new conversation below.