Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Night skies, stars, and light

A good friend of mine mentioned this morning that she missed seeing the stars at night (here in our mountain city).  She and her husband had lived in a much smaller town in the higher mountains for many years until recently.

I hadn't really thought about this.

In the Southern U.S., the humidity in the summer obscures the night skies to a great extent, so I only really expect to see stars clearly in winter.

But, now, living close to downtown (as does my friend), light pollution plays a role, too.

I led night hikes for many years in the Piedmont, at the university botanical garden where I used to work.  On clear nights, we would see stars, as our small college town wasn't unreasonably lit up (maybe) -- but the almost 300 acres of the Garden, with the university golf course adjoining us, and campus on the other side, buffered the effect of street lights, especially at the "end" of the Garden near the Visitor Center.

Thinking about this now reminds me that I do see the moon here in the mountains, but I'll have to watch for the stars, too.

Here's an image from a November full moon from 2010 (in the Piedmont of SC).
November, 2010, Clemson, SC
There are a lot of full moon posts from the past!

November, 2014 (Frost Moon)

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