Sunday, March 14, 2010

Daylight Savings Time Returns: See the Winter Sky While You Can!

This morning marked the return of daylight Savings Time, an occasion dreaded by most amateur astronomers. Why? No more early-evening observing under dark skies. While the extra hour of daylight tacked onto the end of the day doesn't obliterate evening observing, it certainly pushes back the time of truly dark skies to about 9pm.

By that time darkness falls, the winter constellations/deep sky objects are really starting to sink into the Western sky, and eventually, into twilight. So, sky permitting, go out and see the winter sky before it's too late. By time darkness really arrives, the Pleiades and Perseus are due West, Orion Southwest, and Canis Major as high as it will get as it is due South. Try and get out, as the winter sky holds the brightest stars and some truly spectacular deep sky objects.

Now for the good news. Daylight Savings time means that you won;t have to stay up as late to see the spring sky, its animalistic constellations, and the galaxies that abound.

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