Entries tagged "orion"
My thanks to Mark Evans who not only flew over from Oman for a course, but also sent me this great time lapse photo from Oman.
Mark is the General Manager of Outward Bound Oman, which does not sound like the worst job in the world to me! Outward Bound Oman, under Mark’s leadership, is teaching young Omanis many outdoor skills, including traditional methods of desert navigation.
Time for a bit of fun. Which way are we looking in this picture and why?
by email please. I’ll post the correct answer in a couple of…
We are bearing down on stargazing-season. It is getting dark early enough in the evenings, staying dark long enough in the mornings and doesn't yet freeze you for the privilege.
This morning I enjoyed a view of Orion, Sirius, Leo, which has just marched ahead of the dawn sun now, and a few other players. I took this photo of Orion's Sword hanging down to the left (eastern) side of a large beech tree and dangling down towards the south, as it does. The 'smudge' in the middle is the Great Nebula in Orion, also known less romantically…
My thanks to Kevan Hubberd for sending in the idea about using Orion's Sword as a way of finding south.
Orion's Sword can be seen in the image to the left as the short vertical line of 'stars' under Orion's Belt.
The Sword does indeed point to a spot on the horizon that is close to due south when the Sword is near vertical (as in this image), but it is a less dependable guide when it is well off-vertical, ie. when it is lower in the sky.
Technical bit for natural navigation zealots…
My thanks to Stuart Goring for sending over these great Thomas Hardy celestial quotes. Those who know this blog or my book will be aware that I love it when nature and the arts come together. The two following excerpts are taken from 'Far From the Madding Crowd.'
“He stood and carefully examined the sky, to ascertain the time of night from the altitudes of the stars. The Dog-star and Alderbaran, pointing to the restless Pleiades, were halfway up the Southern sky ,and between them hung Orion, which gorgeous constellation never burnt more vividly than now,…
After an enjoyable private course on Friday - we finished standing in a field looking at Orion, the Plough, Cassiopeia and, of course, Polaris - it was time for a family outing to West Wittering beach early on Saturday.I adore the Witterings in winter, the barbecue and beach towels may have to stay at home but it is invigorating to get blown along on miles of abandoned sand. In between games of hide and seek amongst the beach huts, games of football on the sticky sand and races to pieces of seaweed, I noticed some interesting patterns in the…
For much of the UK, tonight promises to be a good night for some stargazing. With a bit of luck the only clouds for many will be from our breath. The moon, which is four days off full, will outshine many of the stars but should not spoil the party.If the sky is clear we will get a very good view of Mars in the east in the early evening. Sitting between the constellations of Leo (easy to find) and Cancer (hard to find), it will be rising about thirty degrees north of east at dusk and…
...and he was high in the sky, which reminded me of one of the simplest and most beautiful of natural navigational celestial techiques. Orion is a great help in finding East or West, but there is a method for finding direction that works even if you have no idea what object you are looking at in the sky. It takes time to apply accurately, but it can be used anywhere in the world and applies to all the stars, the moon, the sun and all the planets - even if you have no idea which one you are looking…
I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn't go back to sleep. Some compensation was to be found outside, with a beautiful view of Orion, Sirius and Venus. All three have historically had some significance. Both Orion and Sirius have been used as seasonal markers, the 'heliacal rising' of Sirius being used as a forecast for flooding of the Nile in ancient Egypt. Orion is still known as a winter constellation in the northern hemisphere. The references to Venus are legion and include its use by the Maya to time the start of wars (see Anthony Aveni's…
Yesterday afternoon was spent doing some private training in Angmering Park near Arundel, West Sussex. I did not need to be a native American Indian to realise that this is a very horsey part of the world. There is a stud at the heart of the park and the well churned ground bears witness to a lot of hooves.We were put through a gentle rinse and spin cycle as what felt like typical cold front conditions mixed things up, sunshine and cold rain wrestling each other throughout an enjoyable afternoon. The skies matured into a more…
Bit of an early start this morning for a busy day in London, but there was consolation in a constellation. Forgive me./p>
I saw Orion for the first time in months and Sirius was just visible above the dawn sun. It gave me a warm fuzzy feeling even though I was shivering in bare feet on cold stone. There were plenty of times mid-Atlantic when the boat was rocking in the big swell and Orion was the friend I used to steady my tired eyes on the night sky. Welcome back, hunter.