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
On Wednesday 2 February my partner Gordon and I are going to Humberside Airport to take (for me) the trip of a lifetime. We're boarding the Aurora Flight, where you set off but don't land, just watch for aurorae through the plane's windows. There's a talk given by a professional astronomer beforehand, and someone will accompany us on the flight. There's an 80% chance of being lucky enough to see the aurora, but as it's a natural phenomenon it can't be predicted so we'll just have to cross our fingers and toes! I'm almost beside myself with excitement, I've never seen an aurora before and even if we're unlucky this time, it'll still be on my wishlist. I'll write up the experience in my next BATS column.
Chinese New Year
The Chinese calendar is based upon the cycles of the Moon, so their celebratory dates are fluid. In 2011, the Chinese New Year falls on 3 February, coinciding with the new moon. Each year is represented by an animal, and the cycle changes every 12 years. This year it is the return of the Rabbit (or Hare). Hoppy (sorry!) New Year to any Chinese readers!
February Diary Dates
- 01: Mercury 4° south of the Moon
- 03: New Moon
- 03: Chinese New Year
- 07: Jupiter 7° south of the Moon
- 10: Moon close to the Pleiades
- 18: Full Moon (the Snow Moon)
- 20: The Moon, Saturn and Spica (alpha Virginis) form a triangle
- 28: Asteroid 4 Vesta and the Moon less than a degree apart
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.