Its been snowing lately which means no clear skies, but before that I took a 45 minute walk up to Lansdown Playing fields to see what the skies were like there compared to the city centre. It was worth it. There are some street lights near the park and ride unfortunately but if you keep going it gets dark again. At least its not flood lit during the night.

First thing that hits you is how many stars there are. I was a little sceptical as I am pretty close to the city still but it was actually pretty amazing. So I pulled out my binoculars for an hour and started trying to find things, but that was much more difficult than I expected because of the sheer number of stars visible.

Quickly found Orion’s Belt (easy one) and thus Orion Nebula below it, which appears as a couple of stars with an odd white glow behind them sort of. Unfortunately holding things steady for a long time so my eyes can adjust and see more detail was awkward.

IMG_20130117_202417

Managed to also find Jupiter. As usual, it was hard to keep steady view for long. It stands out though from stars as it does not “glow” the same way. Its a weird thing to see actually.

I unfortunately could not locate Andromeda, nor could I locate easily any nearby constellations as there were too many stars and I again had issues keeping my view steady. In my defence, it was cold! What I did see though was a fast flash of light from left to right while searching, which I can only assume was a Meteoroid? Was so quick and brief I was not even sure I saw it.

Anyway, to solve the not having steady hands problem I have ordered a tripod which can be seen to the right. Should have done so earlier really. Will also get a full Planisphere as the partial material I was using was harder to use without a full picture. Unfortunately due to the recent snowfall the skies have not been clear since. Took some nice photos from around Bath though so that makes up a little for no clear skies.