It’s a fact, people love to stargaze, and we’re smack bang in the middle of “dark skies” territory.
Whether meteor watching, viewing the moon or simply spotting the space station passing overhead, people love to look at the night sky.
Who doesn’t stargaze? We all do.
I love looking at the stars and on a clear night I can’t help but get lost in the magic of it all.
“You know, when you stargaze you’re looking back in time. When you use a telescope you’re using a time machine,” writes astronomer David Reneke from Australasian Science magazine.
Stargazing on a nice dark clear night is almost like being in another realm.
When you step outside on a cool autumn evening and see all those brilliant points of light, something special clicks in your mind. You just know something is different.
You’re stepping out of the everyday hustle and bustle of the modern world.
Today, our lives are filled with activity, beeping technology, deadlines and the constant need to be somewhere or to be doing something.
When you cross that threshold from your backdoor to the inky blackness of night, all of those modern ‘conveniences’ disappear and you become part of the Universe.
You become part of something much bigger than just you and your problems.”
When ancient explorers used the Southern Cross to guide their ships to the unknown reaches of our land ‘down under’ they were not staring at those stars ‘now,’ they were staring at the stars as they were over 200 years before!
Light takes time to travel and everything in the night sky is unimaginably far away.
So, when you look up at the stars, what do you think about? That we’re not alone? The vastness of it all?
Remember, the starlight you see takes hundreds, thousands and sometimes millions of years before it makes it to Earth. When we tell kids they’ve time travelled, that they just stepped into the past, they’re interested!
Astronomers say there are 300 billion stars in the Milky Way galaxy alone. Just let that sink in for a moment.
Close your eyes and imagine what flying through space must look like. We’re moving fast too. The Earth you’re standing on is spinning at over 1,000 km an hour. We’re also moving through space at the rate of 530 km a second. Feeling dizzy?