Star Gazing

My mobile phone is dying. (I know strange start to a post on stars, right? Don’t worry, the connection is coming.) To try and make it last a little longer I went through my apps to see what I could remove to reduce strain on the poor old thing. (Here it is…) In doing so I found apps I’d forgotten I had. I thought one was worth mentioning because I thought it was awesome when I got it. Out for dinner at a friends one night we commented on the wonderful view of the night sky they had from their deck. Seeing we were interested they dragged out their (mammoth) telescope and we spent an enjoyable hour looking at the moon, stars and planets (the photo of the moon was taken by The Hub with his mobile phone through the telescope). It was a wonderful evening. The moon’s surface was clearly visible. What we hadn’t realised before, though, was how quickly the moon is actually moving through the night sky. We’d get the telescope lined up, but within minutes we’d be having to adjust because it would have passed out of view. We also discovered there are some amazing apps out there (of course) to help you navigate the night sky. I put Google’s ‘Sky Map’ on my phone, which for a free app worked really well. To quote the app, Sky Map is a hand-held planetarium for your Android device. Use it to identify stars, planets, nebulae and more. Have you ever gazed at the stars?

10 comments on “Star Gazing

  1. Aww that is a lovely memory. I used to gaze at the stars when I was younger when I would go to summer camp. It was lovey!! And a perfect summer date for me is to load up a pickup truck with pillows and blankets and go star gazing haha

    • It’s particularly lovely if you can get away from the city lights and see the sky like that. Gorgeous!

  2. Is it the moon moving quickly or the earth? Considering how the earth rotates once each day…

    I’ve never gotten around to putting apps like that on my phone, which is odd. It’s odd because as a kid I dreamed of becoming an astronomer. Then life got in the way…

    • With your love of physics it doesn’t surprise me you considered astronomy. And good point about the speed of earth v moon. I’m not sure but maybe it is the earth moving!

  3. I love Google Sky Map but did you delete it? and what else did you delete?

    • I did delete it Jacqui. I also deleted games the Barbarians seem to have snuck on (they don’t have their own mobile phones yet, although Heckle is getting the Hub’s hand-me-down in a month), my kindle app (I never read on the phone anymore, I really prefer my kindle), a safe waters swimming app (it’s really only 2 months of the year where we swim in creeks and I can look them up online – it’s for health like blue-green algae blooms etc) and a few miscellaneous google apps that came with the phone and I’ve never used.

  4. My favourite memory of star gazing was when I went camping at Mt Arapiles with friends to see Halley’s Comet. The comet was a disappointment, alas, but it was worth the trip to see all those stars as I never see them in Melbourne. It was like a massive jewel box in space – even Orion was stunningly beautiful – I saw it far more clearly than ever before. My only star app is Sky Guide, which is just a basic guide to various stars and constellations, very pretty but nothing special.

    • I remember camping outside so my friends and I could see Halley’s comet. Comet wasn’t spectacular but the camping with friends was great =) (Love your description of “jewel box in space”)

  5. When I was a kid, my dad had a telescope and would often bring us out to the backyard late in the night to see interesting things in the sky. It is amazing how fast the moon seems to move! I noticed that again when we were watching the lunar eclipse last month.

    • I’d love a telescope – it would make it so much more interesting. The Barbarians are part of a Guiness World Record for the most people star gazing at once (in 2015).

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