Saturday, November 09, 2013

Star Gazing

I often go out on the back deck and gaze up at the stars.  I have never been a true star gazer I suppose, not really ever knowing what I was looking at.  I honestly could not tell you what or where the big dipper or little dipper might be.  Yet I have been curious lately as to what I was seeing each time I walked out early in the morning when the stars were very bright.

I finally took the time to find out exactly what I was seeing this morning and it is rather fascinating. After an internet search of about half an hour I found a free program called "Stellarium". I downloaded it here:  and I was very pleased with the results.  After typing in my location in NC, I was able to see the exact sky I was looking at only minutes before!  Now I know exactly what I thought might be the big dipper really is and no, it is not the big dipper...

This program has a multitude of functions and is really amazing.  When you click on a star it gives you all sorts of information about it, more than the average star gazer will need to know.  It will of course show you the constellations from a western culture POV but also has other cultures listed as well.  I have just begun to play around with it so I'm sure there is much more to tell but for now, I highly recommend this if you are a curious star gazer like myself..

Here's a good view of what I am seeing right in the middle of my early morning sky from my back deck.  What I thought might be the big dipper turns out to be Orion's Belt!

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