Learn the Sky I

Did you ever wonder how people got around “back in the day” before all this technology? Columbus sailed to the New World without satellites, GPS receivers, or especially wireless internet. Magellan didn’t circumnavigate the globe by using Google Maps. They used what they had, especially the sky.

During the day, if you can see the sun, you can pretty much figure out what direction is what. And the same can be done at night. Did you know that if you can see the stars, you can’t get lost? By having a familiarity with the stars of the night sky, you can always tell what direction you are facing, and even know your general place on the earth.

When you were younger, and if you were in the Boy or Girl Scouts, you probably had to learn some of the night sky for a merit badge. Then some people just fell in love with the night sky and learned what they could themselves. That is one reason we astronomers are an adventurous bunch. 🙂

There are several ways to learn your way around the sky, and one of them is on a site which shows you how to identify stars and constellations, and how to find your way around.

There are several online sites to learn the sky, and a great one if you are just starting out is The Night Sky site, which shows some basic “find your way” items of interest. Go ahead and check them out to find “what’s up.” Then, on some clear night during the summer months, come on out to the Veen Observatory during a public viewing session to see the stars for real and up close. One of the features of the public nights are star and constellation tours by the astronomers present.

So go outside and learn the sky. Amaze your friends.

And don’t worry about getting lost. The stars are there to guide you.


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