Sunday, August 2, 2009

The Adventure Begins...

Recently, I took a 2 AM trip across the park to the little girls' room at a nearby campground and found myself mesmerized by the stars up above. It turned into quite the long trip as I ended up standing in the middle of the road staring straight up for quite a while.

Now, the same thing happens every time I look at the stars like this. I look for the few constellations I recognize and imagine being able to recognize all the constellations I see and know where some really awesome deep-sky objects are. But just a couple of days later, I stumbled across a book in the discount section of a bookstore called A Year of the Stars: A Month-By-Month Journey of Skywatching by Fred Schaaf. I bought it on a whim. Turns out it is a really nifty month-by-month guide complete with an astronomy primer perfect for the beginning astronomer but with enough detail and interesting objects to be useful for a long time. At least that's how I perceived it.

In any case, it's what I have and I'm going to use it as a basic guide of what fun things I can look for in the sky. I've also got more detailed star maps lying around somewhere, probably covered in cobwebs in the basement. I'm at a low enough level that I shouldn't need too many source materials - I'll be happy just to be able to find all the constellations, let alone finding distant nebulas (nebulae?) via telescope.

This blog I am hoping to be an easy read, light-hearted and fun, as I am just having fun learning about something I find very interesting and will no doubt post all sorts of things about how I am excited to see a blurry patch of light in a remote spot of the sky.

I hope to learn some fun things along the way and you are welcome to join me. If you have any questions, I'll do my best to answer, whether that involves explaining something I say (like jargon) or doing some research to find something out. Likewise, if you have fun facts, or see something I say that is wrong, or have more information on something I'm examining, feel free to comment! Now I think I'm gonna go take a shower and maybe take a peek outside after it gets dark.

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