posted on Oct, 3 2008 @ 11:17 PM
There have been several threads lately that show that there are an awful lot of people who know so little about the night sky and its inhabitants. The
fact that the stars move through the night sky together, that they are visible at certain times of night and not others, different times of year and
not others. The fact that planets look much to the naked eye as stars do but unlike stars, change their position in the sky from night to night. The
fact that satellites move across the background of stars. Even that, like the nursery rhyme says, stars twinkle.
I can't be sure but this (I really hate to use the word) ignorance seems to lead to a lot of the reports (or questions) about UFO's. Someone looks
up one night and sees a very bright star that, for some reason, they have never noticed before. It has always been there, for thousands if not
millions of years, but for that person it is something that is new, different, and amazing. What can it be?
I'm trying not to be critical. I just can't understand this. Is it a matter of education? I started learning about the stars at such an early age
that I can't even really remember it. Is it a matter of location? I know that I am very fortunate to live in a place with a fairly dark sky (low
light pollution) and clear air. Is it simply a matter of not "normally" being able to see the sky, that a clear night with twinkling stars is a
rarity? Or is it simply that most people simply don't look up very often.
The night sky is an amazing sight. The Milky Way really does defy description of it's size and glory. The stars, planets, meteors, and when we're
really lucky, comets, don't need any more mystery than they already provide. Even a passing satellite, a machine, is really glorious as it moves
silently across the starfield and disappears into the shadow of the Earth. Are people so jaded that such an "ordinary" thing as a twinkling star
isn't enough, it has to be "promoted" to being a UFO?
If I might, I would suggest that everyone actually make an effort to learn about that big dome that surrounds us every night. Most newspapers have at
least a monthly star chart. The internet is an fantastic resource. There are free computer programs available. Use any of these things to see what
tonight's sky holds. Pick one, just one, star or planet or constellation, go out, and try to find it. Go out after dinner, lie on your back on the
ground (or a lounger) and look up! You can learn the stars and their names. Do one each night. Look for the constellation of your astrological sun
sign (this will have to be a few months after or before your birthday, I won't explain why). You actually can learn the sky. You can become familiar
with it. How many of us know that (in a location with low light pollution) we can see the Andromeda Galaxy with the naked eye? With an average pair of
binoculars that magnificent spiral can easily be viewed! You can learn what is "ordinary" and what might really be something unusual up there.
Just look up!