We love stargazing here at the Inn on Mill Creek because it’s so easy to do with very little light pollution. So, we’re very excited to note that 2009 — marking the 400th anniversary of Galileo’s use of the telescope (above) to study the skies — has been designated by the United Nations as the International Year of Astronomy. (Thanks to Mark and Eileen for sharing with us an article from BLDGBLOG about Galloway Forest Park in Scotland announcing its plans to become Europe’s first “dark sky park.” What a great idea!)
As readers of the blog are probably aware, Brigette likes all things space-related. Especially pleasing is the fact that since we’re two miles into the forest, we don’t have city lights affecting our view of the night sky. We’ve seen the band of the Milky Way and the sky filled with multitudes of stars almost every night this week, and we’ve also been watching the Holmes Comet as it explodes.
Here inside the national forest where we have a two-mile buffer zone from city lights, we see plenty of stars. We can see some other objects, too…one of our recent guests told us how to find out when the International Space Station goes by. NASA has a nifty link off its ISS website where you can plug in your latitude/longitude or zip code and it will tell you the next time the Space Station passes over your house.