If you live in mid northern latitudes there’s an undeniable familiarity to your night skies when facing north. One of the most prominent constellations is Ursa Major with its bright asterism known as The Plough, or Big Dipper. I call this collection of stars the Swiss Army Knife for stargazers, and for good reason. Please watch to find out why.
Music used with permission from Rising Galaxy (Cosmicleaf records, Greece)
My video stargazing guide to the constellation Ursa Major, known to stargazers and astronomers in the northern hemisphere by its famous asterism of the Plough or Big Dipper.
Many thanks to Rising Galaxy of Cosmicleaf Records for gifting the background music to this piece. If you like drone ambient or cosmic chill out music please check out their web stores for more of the same.
Comet Wirtanen to the left of bright Capella, above Bunchrew, Inverness
I’m almost always rewarded in some form when I head out to observe, even in less than perfect conditions. As it happened I knew comet Wirtanen was in a favourable position over Christmas and close to the 6th brightest star Capella. I posted about it on Facebook here.
Despite the unfavourable early rising of the Moon and some patchy skies on Christmas eve I decided to take a short walk in the woods over Bunchrew, in the off chance I might catch the comet.
When I was sufficiently well away from the western lights of Inverness I looked up, and there was the comet faintly visible in binoculars. Not the clearest I’ve seen it this year, but probably under the darkest conditions.
The took the picture above before I continued my walk, with the comet and Capella sitting above the trees.