Caption: Did you taken in the dark sky for Earth Hour? When I first came to Nicaragua I looked out at the night sky, knowing it would be so dark. When I saw the arrangement of constellations I was gobsmacked by how far from home I was. It was an overwhelming wave of experiential distance (about 26 degrees). Since I was a child, I marked the year by the night sky. And when Sirius (the bright Dog Star down a bit from Orion’s belt) appeared it was near my December birthday. Here it’s much higher in the sky, in March!
For a time I couldn’t look. It just made me feel so far from home. But eventually I have worked my way back to stargazing. I was comforted by seeing the Beehive Cluster, Messier 44, right over head (found in the center of Cancer, lower in the sky in US). My own celestial beehive, such a friend to behold. When I was an astronomy lab assistant I held a record for most Messier deep sky objects found in a single night. The Beehive is a favorite.
I’m so grateful to reconnect with the dark sky, the Milky Way is astonishing – so vivid to the naked eye. I just came across an article about how ⅓ of Earth’s population cannot see the Milky Way. That’s 2.5 billion people disconnected from where we were born, our star dust shining within each of us. Please do what you can to prevent light pollution.
Photo taken at: Zumbido Vida Homestead and Resilience Guild