Astronomy: When clouds are the enemy

So this evening a dusk there’s supposed to be a nice conjunction of Mars and Venus just under the crescent moon.

And of course it’s cloudy where I am. So it’ll be completely invisible to me. That’s life when you love astronomy and live in the northeast.

That would be one nice thing about living in an arid region – clear skies. There have been a very few times in my life where I’ve been able to see some awe inspiring stuff in the sky. When I was a kid living in Providence before the advent of High Pressure Sodium lighting you could clearly lay in your back yard and look up. You’d see the big and little dippers, Orion, pretty much the whole sky.

But over time those view went away. Too much light pollution.

And there was one time a few years back I was traveling on U.S. 17 between Elizabeth City and Edenton North Carolina. Now driving around in the dense northeast you always have headlights in your rear view. But I noticed on this trip the mirrors were pitch black. So I pulled over on the side of the road and got out of the car.

And then I looked up – and of course no camera to record the event! What I saw was the band of the Milky Way – almost to the point where it felt like you could reach out and touch it.

And I’ve never seen it since as clouds have been the enemy. I’m reminded of the lorry driver in one of Douglas Adam’s works who had rain everywhere he went because the clouds loved him. I think I may have the same.

One thought on “Astronomy: When clouds are the enemy

  1. I feel fortunate to live in an area with many clear as a bell nights. The light pollution isn’t too bad either. In fact, a simple drive to the north reveals a splendor. lovely.

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