Thursday, October 24, 2013

Stargazing



Since I blogged about my middle-of-the-night stargazing adventures on Nate Day, I've been itching to stargaze some more!  Enter StarDate.org!  They have great tips and tricks for the beginner stargazer - like me - all the way up to the most experienced!  They also have a list of places holding Star Parties.  That's where I found a link to the Atlanta Astronomy Club!  Score!



Granted, I've been sick the past few days and that has put a real damper on my hankering to get out and watch the stars but it's about to ramp up in late-November / early-December when comet ISON passes by the Sun.  Why is that such a big deal?  If ISON doesn't get obliterated by the Sun's heat, it will be the most visible object in the night sky!  Imagine!  It'll be like all my sci-fi movie visual dreams coming true!

Even though I live OTP (that's Outside The [285] Perimeter to you non-Georgia folks), I don't live far enough OTP that it's fairly easy to get someplace rural for some stargazing.  Sure, the Enota Mountain Retreat was nice but it was also 2 hours away!  Maybe it wouldn't hurt to secure a campsite in a non-wooded area for mid-December for some ISON-watching?  What a fun weekend excursion!  All I need is to check off some items on StarDate's helpful checklist and I'll be ready!

Err...maybe.

I still need to check which areas around me (preferably on a mountain top) would be ideal for stargazing - and that they AREN'T affected by the Government Shutdown...I guess I don't really need to limit it to Georgia, if I don't have to.  I could venture out to Tennessee, North Carolina, or even Kentucky!  They're all a reasonable drive away - except, maybe, Kentucky.  We could stay on the Appalachian Trail and pretend we're living the way of the pioneers using only the night sky to guide us.
A bit much, huh?

Maybe I should just stick to possibly joining the Atlanta Astronomy Club and see if there's going to be an ISON-watching star party in the near future, perhaps?