As discussed in a previous post , light pollution is a major nuisance to astronomers both amateur and professional. When astronomers classify how much light pollution there is at a particular location, they often use the Bortle Scale, devised by John Bortle and first published in the popular astronomy magazine Sky and Telescope (Bortle 2001). Rather… Continue reading Measuring and Mapping Light Pollution
Many of you will have seen the pictures last year showing long ‘trains’ composed of as many as sixty SpaceX Starlink satellites crossing the sky. A 'train' of SpaceX Starlink satellites just after their launch. In the days after launch these trains break up as the satellites position themselves into their final orbits These satellites… Continue reading SpaceX Starlink Satellites
Watching the Sun set below the horizon and the sky gradually get darker and darker is an almost magical experience. Twilight is that period of the day when the sky is not completely dark, and it can be used to describe the period either just after sunset, or just before sunrise. It is valued by photographers because of… Continue reading Twilight
"All humans, everywhere in the world and throughout history, have looked up at the sky and wondered at it. This experience is now denied to most people, because of the background light in towns and cities. It is important to ensure that there will be somewhere in England where young people can fully enjoy a cosmic… Continue reading Dark Skies.
Last week I was on holiday with Mrs Geek in London. While I was there, I spent an afternoon at the Royal Greenwich Observatory, which is set on top of a hill in East London. It was commissioned in 1675 making it one of the oldest astronomical observatories in the world. Sadly, it can no… Continue reading Stardust