This year is the International Year of Astronomy 2009! Why am I blogging about this, you may ask? For those who may not know, Graham and I are amateur astronomers and we’ve been looking up at the sky for a couple of years now. We’ve been out on pretty frigid nights and during the warmth of the summer season and have seen some pretty amazing things through the telescope… Saturn and its rings, Jupiter, galaxies and nebulas.
More than anything though I am promoting the IYA2009 because I love looking up at the night sky with the naked eye… except that it’s hard to do that in Toronto. The light pollution in Toronto is pretty unreal and one of the main focuses of IYA2009 is to bring awareness to the ever-increasing light pollution that progressively drowns out the night sky over urban populations. See for yourself! If you live in a largely-populated city-centre… look up and count the stars at night… in Toronto, on an absolutely clear night, I can count the number of stars in the sky with two hands.
When was the last time you looked up and saw a sky full of brilliant stars? If you ever get a chance, get out of the city (for Toronto, that means at least driving an hour away in any direction), look up and let the beautiful universe dazzle you!
To commemorate IYA2009, I’m posting a photo I took while coming down from the Soo over the Christmas holidays… you may recognize the moon but that’s not a bright star underneath, it’s actually the planet Venus!