a little late

by underswansea

_LME1064Mars just above the ridge. The Milky Way fading on the left.

As Old Lodge Skins used to say, ‘Sometimes the magic works, sometimes it doesn’t’.

This is a strange time of year to star gaze. Even though there is a new moon which should assure dark skies, the nights are so short it never gets completely dark.

Willow and I headed out at three. The sky was already turning blue and the stars were fading. I snapped a few pics while Willow sniffed around.

Mars is big and bright being as close to earth as it gets. Planets must have been a confusing  sight for humans in the past. They wander around against the backdrop of stars and vary in brightness. They are good for telling time however.

Humans have looked to the night skies for thousands of years. It has only been recently, due to much of humanity living in bright cities, that we no longer see the stars. I wonder what that does to us as a species. Of course, now we know more about the stars and planets than we ever had. The sky is a fascinating awe inspiring subject. But some of what we know seems out of context.

In the other direction from Mars, Cassiopeia was out in force. I could just make out the Andromeda Galaxy, hovering below, sending light from 2.2 million light years distant.

cassiopea.smCassiopeia, spelled incorrectly – due to not enough coffee.

On the other side of Cassiopeia was Perseus two star clusters, h and Chi Persei. They are 7,500 light years distant and contain hot super giant stars thousands of times more luminous than our sun.

By 4 Mars had disappeared over the ridge and the stars were lost in dawn.

Willow and I poked around a little longer then headed for the valley bottom.