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Friday, 23 October 2015

Astronomy: you're forced to!

Since I'm always up and about by 5.00am it's great to have something impressive to look at through the kitchen window while I'm making a cup of tea!

At the moment the three planets Venus, Jupiter and Mars are nicely lined up in the pre-dawn sky, but elsewhere there's lots to see: Orion with its seven bright stars and even brighter 'hunting dog' Sirius are well-placed in the south, while the Pleiades are high in the south west. I took a snap of the second star of the 'handle' of the Plough / Big Dipper / Great Bear to show that it's actually a binary pair, Alcor & Mizar (although the situation is a lot more complex, since Mizar is actually a quadruple system!) The ability to see Alcor - the fainter of the pair - has been used for millennia as an eyesight test!

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