Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Google Earth given celestial view - e-mail to the bbc
why do you insist on calling amateur astronomers star gazers? we don't 'gaze' at anything, stars included... we peer at faint smudges that are galaxies, beautiful open clusters, balls of light that are globular clusters, bright nebulae, dark nebulae, & planetary nebulae for the most part. some of the most difficult to see deep sky objects require averted vision just to see at all.
while we do observe both double & variable stars, we certainly do not spend any of our time at the telescope gazing! the only time we'll do that is when we look up away from our equipment just to enjoy the view. time at the eyepiece isn't spent gazing.
gazing? isn't that what journalists do when they're watching tv?...
light polluted washington, d.c
...by the way, the image used is of a very famous messier object i saw when i went away to the mountains, M51, the whirlpool galaxy (which is actually two galaxies). you don't get to see it like this though, but you do get to see it with you own eyes :)
this object doesn't belong in any of the constellations they mention in the article...it resides in canes venatici, very close to the big dipper.