Saturday, November 21, 2009


The stars you can see at night depend on the time of year and the time of night, of course, but also on your latitude. Burlington's at about 44°28' north, about halfway between the equator and the North pole. As you go south, you can see things closer and closer to the south celestial pole, within certain defineable limits.

Santa Cruz is at 36°59'--I'd been able to figure out it's farther south than what I was used to but I hadn't known the details until this morning.

Canopus, the second-brightest star in the north sky is theoretically visible from lat. 37°18', The existence of Monterey and the hills behind this probably wash it out, or did last night--I figured out I could get painfully close. I guess I should check out other locales (up the coast) which leave the south view as free as possible and check on some celestial mechanics.

On the plus side, I've never gotten better views of Canis Major, and I've been figuring out some of the smaller constellations around it. (Lepus and Columba last night).

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