envoys of beauty

To go into solitude, a man needs to retire as much from his chamber as from society. I am not solitary whilst I read and write, though nobody is with me. But if a man would be alone, let him look at the stars. The rays that come from those heavenly worlds, will separate between him and what he touches. One might think the atmosphere was made transparent with this design, to give man, in the heavenly bodies, the perpetual presence of the sublime. Seen in the streets of cities, how great they are! If the stars should appear one night in a thousand years, how would men believe and adore; and preserve for many generations the remembrance of the city of God which had been shown! But every night come out these envoys of beauty, and light the universe with their admonishing smile.

Ralph Waldo Emerson – Nature

I am into astronomy these days. Downloaded and installed free Astro Planner on my PC, and also installed Planetarium on my handheld. But nights are cloudy in Belgrade, I have no luck. As soon as stars become visible again I am determined to find Orion Nebula on the sky. Approximately I know where it should be located.

For those who are not accustomed with using telescopes, good start is to observe the sky with binoculars. And if you watch through telescope, first thing you should see is the surface of the Moon (it always takes my breath away), then you can try to find Jupiter and see its 4 bigger satelites (if you draw down their positions over time axis you will get sinusoidal waves). Of course, never ever watch directly to the Sun, do not try that even with special filters either. If you want to see spots on Sun surface, project the image from telescope to paper, and there you will see it very well. And you can try to see Saturn rings too.

I have at home some older russian telescope, I think that diameter of mirror is about 6 cm. But let me tell you these modern computerised telescopes are really something. They have so called GoTo option, which means that there are memorized coordinates of stellar objects and computer controlls moving mechanism which directs the telescope right to the desired object. All you have to do is just look and enjoy.

Problem with using telescopes in cities is light pollution. I wonder if Suburbia likes to watch the stars since she lives in the suburban area of the big city, and I guess the night sky is much more clear there. Nowdays there are many telescopes on the market, I saw even those with 10 inches diameter (I think that with them you can see even that red spot on Jupiter’s surface). Actually I found very nice booklet from Meade telescopes and you can download it here. There are interesting stories in it, like one when a man found new supernova (exploded star) with his home telescope.

I remember I liked to read in my primary school about comet hunters. That is so cool to try to find new comet.

Astrophotography is also something breathtaking. That art combines calculation and photography. You have to be very precise if you want to catch the photo of “diamond ring” in total solar eclipse.

We always stand in awe under the starry sky. I hope tonight there will be no clouds in Belgrade. I am already browsing the catalogs in software to choose what I will (and can) observe. Wish me good luck with the weather. And you can join me with exploring the space.

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4 Responses to “envoys of beauty”

  1. uneromaineaparis Says:

    hello Dejan! when I was at primary I remember that I wanted to become an astronomist! quite a hard discipline though… but it was so fascinating! there was a tv program in Italy, it was so good, and I adored it, it was about galaxies and the origin of the universe, every time it was like penetrating the mistery of creation…. simply wonderful.

  2. suburbanlife Says:

    Hi dejan; “Rumpole” and I drove out into the country, 3 minutes from home, 2 years ago, in the middle of the night and dressed in our pajamas to sit in the dark of a summer’s night and watch the Perseid showers. it was wonderful, amazing, and we felt like little insignificant beings fortunate to be able to witness this. It is amazing just how much light pollution there is here in the suburbs, which prevents one from seeing the panoply of the night sky. For people in large cities, this is not a possible, regular viewing, and more the pity! The night is marvelous for what it conceals and what it reveals!

  3. Tracey Says:

    Great post!

    We do not get the orange glow (light pollution) where I live (in the middle of Cornwall). Some nights here it is truly amazing. I love clear nights when the moon is so bright. Many times I have rushed out to take photographs of a lunar eclipse. I even tried filming it once on my cam corder on the tri-pod but didn`t come out too well.

    I also filmed and took pictures of the solar eclipse we had down here in Cornwall but it was a cloudy day I seem to remember and you could only just see it. Was a strange moment though, when everything went dark and still and the birds went to roost. Weird actaully, but great! :)

  4. orion telescope Says:

    orion telescope…

    […]envoys of beauty « Dreams Corner[…]…

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