July 4th, 2002

caillebotte_man at his window

Night Sky

The best part of summer is at night. It is warm enough to stay outside and look at the stars. The moon rose late last night. This is the best time to watch the sky. Here, there is much less light pollution than in many places, and the bright dust of the Milky Way is easily seen when the moon is absent.

If you live in a place where there is too much light, or frequent cloud, you can still take a look at some of the objects in the sky on your computer screen. There is a site devoted to Messier objects. These are nebulae, clusters and galaxies. The site has some decent pictures of most of the Messier objects in the sky. (The pictures could be larger, though.) I'll spend more time exploring this large site, and hunting for other astronomy sites, when the cloudy nights of autumn and the cold nights of winter arrive. For now, I'd rather be outdoors looking at the real thing, even though without a telescope I see much less detail than I do on my monitor. Summer is short enough, and I want all the brief nights, to make up for the blazing days.