Wednesday 2 November 2016

My Heat Ray Eyes are Hungry for the Prize

WEll, I tried out my baselayer today, and it did help with the freezing cycle to work this morning. Sadly I wasn't wearing it last night, when the sight of clear skies possessed me to get out my 10x50s and stand around pointing my binocular-ed head at the sky in order to see things.

I wasn't very good at it because my eyes are still out of practice at observing, and so I wasn't able to pick out my acid test Deep-Sky obect, the galaxy M33 in Triangulum.

Not with any degree of certainty anyway. My eyes wanted faint misty nebulous patches to appear everwhere I was looking. So I decided I couldn't credit myself with the sighting, and decided to practice what I preached in one of my work publications recently, and see if I could spot the Andromeda Galaxy with my naked eye. Which I could.

My eyes weren't completely rubbish then.

It was very late on a school night, so I decided not to hang around, and spent about 15 minutes just taking in the views; star after star and probably every single one with a story to tell that we can't comprehend. Virtually every star I looked at could have had a planet orbiting it; indeed science now seems to lean towards the idea that planets orbiting stars are the rule rather than the exception.

I'm reminding myself of the film "The Beach" where the French girl says to Leonardo di Caprio "This is the sort of thing that men say to French girls to make them sleep with them."

Best get back to the science then; I basically just shot around the sky from star cluster to star cluster around the "Clash of the Titans" constellations; Perseus, Cassiopeia, and, ummm Auriga who isn't in that myth but has three cracking open star clusters in it; Messiers 36,37 and 38. Likewise Gemini, and Orion who had his foot stung by a scorpion.

Later in the winter the Orion starfields will be glorious, a little bit low at the moment. But as it does every winter, the time will come.


All text and images copyright CreamCrackeredNature 02.11.16


  1. I love the expression star fields.

  2. I do hope you get a lot of clear starry nights this winter Si.

  3. A lovely post Simon - sadly, we get awful light pollution here so I look forward to holidays when I can get much better views of the stars and milky way.

  4. I agree. I think pretty well every star has planets and nearly all their planet will have moons. Some of the planets will have moons as large as Jupiter and maybe there will even be moons with moonlets orbiting them. Life forms will be found to exist in abundance. The universe is a giant zoo.
    By the way thanks for looking at my my eerie photos, the waterfall ones; they were taken on a gentle trail run in the Austrian Lake District as the Salzkammergut is often called.

  5. Thank you all! Always good to see new faces as well. I do own a telescope, but it sits at my parents and has a very very heavy mount...would like to have a small pick up and go scope.