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Just look up!

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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!

posted on Oct, 3 2008 @ 11:23 PM
Great post. I have begun to do this in earnest lately. Still haven't seen anything too unusual except for the 3 twinkling stars (red, blue, amber) that I watched for 6-7 hours straight. One of them disappeared (blinked off) altogether while I was watching.

Anyhow, I have begun to study the stars and see the rotation and making note of the place of everything. So that if anything unusual does ever happen at least I will at least have some point of reference.

Having said that I have much to learn but it's fun to actually have a look for yourself rather than just constantly reading other people's reports.

If one does not know what is usual, then how on earth can they know what is unusual?

Too bad I'm heading into the rainy season where I live...

posted on Oct, 4 2008 @ 12:13 AM

posted on Oct, 4 2008 @ 12:29 AM
Excellent thread!!

I myself inherited the art of my forefathers, and still try to keep track of stars and "skymarks" when it's clear at night!

Truly a godly science!

posted on Oct, 4 2008 @ 04:13 AM
Good post. I notice on threads people join in the conversation about a star, and many are referring to different stars. I'm guilty of doing this with one big star I see twinkling very brightly in the southern sky, that is quite low (as viewed from pacific nw). Is that Sirius? Viewing it from my home it's very bright, but have now noticed when viewing it from a location with considerably more light polllution, it isn't so impressive.

posted on Oct, 4 2008 @ 04:19 AM
While I agree with your post (if people are going to ask questions or try to *point out* a certain star, they should educate themselves a wee bit more about the sky), I choose to remain ignorant and blissful...

I want it to be a vast huge beautiful breathtaking Mystery.
Though I recognize the need in naming of stars, etc, to me it’s just one of Mankind's heights of egoisms - to name stars, to label them.
Though even I can’t escape the Big and Little Dipper it ends there...
I’ll keep the rest all mystery thanks.

...twinkle twinkle...

posted on Oct, 4 2008 @ 05:06 AM
I try and look at the stars every night before I go to bed while having a smoke out the back
and I think that i'm pretty familiar with whats up there....

As much as i love doing it, sometimes when I look up and ponder the vastness it can sometimes be a bit overwhelming

posted on Oct, 4 2008 @ 05:40 AM
I really accept your opinion, the night sky is the greatest thing ever, though I am not lucky enough to have a clear sky(I live in the city), I see these images on various websites and I am awe-struck, that I keep on looking at the images and dont even realise the passage of time.

Seeing those beautiful images of the milky way makes me think, why are we here in this planet.

posted on Oct, 4 2008 @ 12:10 PM
reply to post by violet

Sirius would be rising in the ESE at about 11:00. Fairly low in the south at dawn.

posted on Oct, 4 2008 @ 12:39 PM
Good post, Phage.

Here are a couple of links that can be useful for those who enjoy watching the night sky.

NASA offers "Skywatch 2.0". A Java applet that will calculate when spacecraft will be visible in the night sky over the viewer's own location.
It uses up-to-the-minute data from Mission Control to project the path the spacecraft will make across the sky, and you can select your country and city:

Another good site with lots of information about stargazing and the different constellations:

posted on Oct, 4 2008 @ 12:39 PM
Good post, and you nailed it when you said people just don't look up anymore.

People look at screens and mirrors most of their time nowadays and just forgot (or were compelled?) to not look up anymore.

That's a drag in life if you ask me...

Peace, and look up!

posted on Oct, 4 2008 @ 12:57 PM
I myself have seen some very strange things in the night sky that i would call ufo's. not even ashamed one bit to call em that either. Bright orbs of light that move at very high clips across the sky or some times appear right in the vicinity around or some times smack dab in the middle of Ursa Major. Check this long thread starlike ufos

I personally have been studying constellations and vissible planets through my telescope. I've seen many stars the most people wouldnt see with the naked eye, and have even been able to view the Helix nebula in Aquarius.

I gree that people in general don't look up at the sky enough, and that the average person looking up may not know exactly what he/she are looking at. But some of us do, and i'm able to recognize a ufo to a star, or compared to a planet, and definetly compared to an airplane.
There are things that you see when you look up at night that may just freak you out!

posted on Oct, 4 2008 @ 01:09 PM
It's true. People don't look up anymore. The majority of people would actually probably not even notice a UFO hovering in the sky because their head is too far up their own arse to be bothered with taking it out of that crevice and possibly staring in another direction, like upwards. I'm sure they would panic if they did look up though. All those tiny points of light during the night, big puffy white things and a ball of fire during the day... what are those things? Be they devils!?

But yes I've actually seem a few UFOs. Two times were up close, bi9g black rectangles and another looked just like a big star and that's what I thought it was until it suddenly went from not moving to shooting upwards in a spiral motion at a high rate of speed.

Planes mistaken for stars, stars mistaken for UFOs, a real UFO... most people really don't care to notice that there IS even a sky.

posted on Oct, 4 2008 @ 05:31 PM
Great thread Phage! S&F'd!

I hope it was my post that prompted you to post. I came close to starting the same thread the other day, and if you hadn't I would have at some point!

People need to turn of their TVs and spend some time watching the night sky instead. Most haven't even got an inkling of what you can see up there, if you spend some time! Why should the scientists get all the fun?

You don't even need any optical aides like binocs or telescopes (although they can add to the experience in some cases) - just a pair of eyes

posted on Oct, 4 2008 @ 06:05 PM
I have said before on another thread that I see a group of stars move last year
a clever shield

posted on Oct, 4 2008 @ 10:38 PM
I was Very fortunate growing up where I did, in our middle school (6th, 7th and 8th grade, we had a planetarium in the school and I spent as much time there as possible, we even got to take classes on how to operate it, it was some of the best years of my life, Some of you may not be aware but the google earth also has a planetarium in the newer version, and it's free

posted on Oct, 4 2008 @ 10:50 PM
reply to post by thedigirati

Now would be a good time to point out:


A free, offline astronomical program. I highly recommend it.

posted on Oct, 4 2008 @ 10:58 PM

Originally posted by Phage
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. Just look up!

So so correct. It seems amazing to me that you can live your entire life under an unchanging sky, season after season, year after year, and never once realize that the North Star doesn't move, or even know where the north star is.

I have to point it out to people. They alway say the same thing: "That is the North Star? But it isn't very bright! What is so special about that star?" Go figure.

I imagine a huge part of this problem is the electric light. Most people can only see the very brightest stars from their suburban homes.

Great post, Phage.

posted on Oct, 5 2008 @ 12:43 PM
Thanks for the link Phage

I myself look up at the stars just about every night and have been for some years, but i am not very knowledgable about astronomy, but hope to someday further my knowledge.

But i do have one question to ask you phage if you can answer please...

When i see a star that is blinking wildly and changing colers from blue to green to red to yellow to white, well what is that? I thaught stars did not change colers! Or am i wrong? Or is it a planet, galaxy, or something else? Thanks,

[edit on 5-10-2008 by damdevildog]

posted on Oct, 5 2008 @ 01:17 PM
reply to post by damdevildog

The star isn't actually changing colors. The light from the star is refracted (like a prism) by the atmosphere, causing the twinkle.

One way to tell stars from planets is that planets don't twinkle much, if at all.

Galaxies (also called nebulae), when visible to the naked eye, appear as kind of a luminous cloud. They are dim and aren't easy to spot. It takes a very clear and dark sky to be able to see them. It also helps if you know right where to look.

[edit on 5-10-2008 by Phage]

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