Stargazing

@Inlemay (17276)
South Africa
December 28, 2015 6:58am CST
The MAMAS AND THE PAPAS made this one famous and while doing my first ever Stargazing expidition, I had this little tune strumming along in my mind and what an amazing evening it was: "Stars shining bright above you; Night breezes seem to whisper 'I love you'. Birds singing in the sycamore tree. Dream a little dream of me." Sutherland in the middle of the Namakwa Tundra as I call it, as it is vast, desolate but beautiful, was the Port'O Call for our Stargazing. We arrived at the Sutherland B&B rather late as we had done some BIG HOLE watching along the way. Quaint old gasstation that has recently been converted into an overnight Inn - Great hospitality and excellent service. The walls of the building are easily 50cm thick which tells me that it was built 100 years ago or more. This adds to its quaintness and what the new owners have done with it, as to keep in the trend of the farm style Sutherland of today. SALT - Southern African Largest Telescope, which is the Largest telescope in the Southern Hemisphere is situated just up the winding hill to the Highest point of the valley - some 1000m above sea level. Very exciting it was for me, as it was my first visit to the area. I have realized in my older age, that one is never too old to learn anything! First the stargazing . . . . This I highly recommend to anyone that has the oppertunity to do. The guide first introduced us to the stars that can be seen in our Southern skies . . . Orion (Betelgeuse), Sirius the Brightest star in the sky, Taurus (Aldebaran). We got to see all these through the big telescopes provided and then see even more, like the Southern Star, the False Star and the Carina Nebula. The evening lasted till well after midnight, where new stars made their appearance and we rotated into their space and they shone their light into our space. JUST AMAZING. Learning about how large stars are was mind boggling, but I would not be able to tell you how, you might want to google it for yourself: Best of 2013: Planets & Stars Size Comparison - YouTube Getting to sleep that night was easy - I was starry eyed! The next morning after a scrumptious breakfast we visited SALT and took some photos in their photo booth made available to visitors. It was plenty of fun, especially for grown ups. Have you ever done stargazing? and what would be your favorite GAZE? Mine from what I have seen - with the naked eye is Orion's Belt and especially Betelgeuse and through the telescope - the Orion Nebula - where stars are born. Enjoy
I created this video with the YouTube Slideshow Creator (http://www.youtube.com/upload)
11 people like this
11 responses
@Asylum (46238)
• Manchester, England
28 Dec 15
According to legend, a long time ago stars could be seen in the skies above Northern England. Those stars were bright and fascinating, so many people began to sit outside and admire them in the evening. Some local tribes even built a new religion around them and began to worship the stars. This angered the ancient Gods, who then spread dark clouds across the sky to block out the stars and punish those heathens for worshipping false Gods. Of course this is only a legend and I believe that those clouds have always been here.
2 people like this
• United States
28 Dec 15
Cute. So you never have clear skies? No wonder my ancestors left.
2 people like this
@Inlemay (17276)
• South Africa
28 Dec 15
Cute for sure - so the UK is under cover it seems
1 person likes this
@Asylum (46238)
• Manchester, England
28 Dec 15
@ElizabethWallace Yes, but not until after they had brought the wrath of the Gods down upon us.
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@LadyDuck (112501)
• Switzerland
28 Dec 15
We like to go to see the stars from atop of a high mountain not too far from home. There are no lights there, the summer sky is beautiful.
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@Inlemay (17276)
• South Africa
28 Dec 15
I can imagine how beautiful the skies are above you there so high up in the Northern Hemisphere.
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@LadyDuck (112501)
• Switzerland
28 Dec 15
@Inlemay The most bright stars that we see every night right now are Orion and Sirius. During the winter night, when it's cold, the sky is so clear.
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@Inlemay (17276)
• South Africa
28 Dec 15
@LadyDuck so it seems you and I get to see Sirius and Orion - how wonderful is that
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Dec 15
Not yet, but I need to put it on my to do list.
1 person likes this
@Inlemay (17276)
• South Africa
28 Dec 15
I highly recommend it
1 person likes this
• United States
28 Dec 15
@Inlemay There are plenty of places in the US with wide open spaces and little "light pollution". I just need to plan a trip to one.
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@Inlemay (17276)
• South Africa
28 Dec 15
@ElizabethWallace I look forward to hearing how you make that a reality. I already have a list for next year - God willing I will get to do at least ONE of the ten - i never dream more than 10 at a time just in case, dont want to be a LIFE HOG
@shshiju (9042)
• Cochin, India
28 Dec 15
In summer sky we can pick different alphabetic letters
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@Inlemay (17276)
• South Africa
28 Dec 15
just amazing - Taurus has the letter A in it - very ironic as my hubby is a Taurus and his name starts with the letter A
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@shshiju (9042)
• Cochin, India
28 Dec 15
@Inlemay When watching sky more times carefully we can see the inner small stars also
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@Inlemay (17276)
• South Africa
28 Dec 15
@shshiju the doilies of the skies they are called
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@Platespinner (17581)
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
28 Dec 15
We got a really good deal on a decent telescope several years ago. Stargazing is awesome!
1 person likes this
@Inlemay (17276)
• South Africa
28 Dec 15
that is fantastic. Mind you, one needs to stay in a NO LIGHT POLLUTION area to appreciate the stars because local lights can really mess up the evening skies.
1 person likes this
• Winston Salem, North Carolina
28 Dec 15
@Inlemay Unfortunately getting away from light pollution is rather challenging...
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@Inlemay (17276)
• South Africa
28 Dec 15
@Platespinner that is the worst. Being out in Sutherland 120km from the nearest farm village was just amazing.
@ison_1 (1255)
29 Dec 15
I went to the Royal Greenwich observatory when I was little, and have been hooked ever since. I would really like some serious equipment that I can hook my camera to and take some astro photography.
1 person likes this
@Inlemay (17276)
• South Africa
29 Dec 15
maybe its time to visit the observatory again - they show you how to use your cameras with the telescopes
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@Tampa_girl7 (21000)
• United States
29 Dec 15
I love reading about your adventures.
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@Inlemay (17276)
• South Africa
29 Dec 15
thank you - its time you told us of one of yours
@garymarsh6 (12009)
• United Kingdom
28 Dec 15
The trouble is in the UK we have so much light pollution that we do not see the night sky as clearly as you do. And as Koalemos has already mentioned our grey cloudy skies always seem to appear when there is something super to watch in the sky.
1 person likes this
@Inlemay (17276)
• South Africa
29 Dec 15
I believe that is one of the sad Facts of stargazing in Bigger cities and Urban regions
@gr8nana6 (2250)
• United States
28 Dec 15
I never get to see the stars, as I am in bed before they come out lol. Not really but I don't go outside after it gets dark. Awesome slideshow by the way
1 person likes this
@Inlemay (17276)
• South Africa
28 Dec 15
oh that is a pity - i wish for you to go outside ONE night to see the stars - they are amaZing
@MALUSE (29866)
• Denmark
28 Dec 15
What does 'big hole' watching mean?
1 person likes this
@Inlemay (17276)
• South Africa
28 Dec 15
We visited the BIG HOLE - which is the Kimberley Diamond mine - we watched all the video's of the so-called diggings there. (reinvented in movie form)
@Jessicalynnt (48191)
• Centralia, Missouri
1 Jan 16
I had a class in college that dealt with stars but that seems cooler
1 person likes this