Bondi Resort Blog

Come on into our Blog for a look at the wonderful world we've got to share! With over 240 hectares (600 acres) of wilderness woodlands surrounding the resort, just ten minutes from Algonquin Park, we feature over 400 metres (1200’) of waterfront and beach; boat rentals; summer hiking trails winding through fields and woods; 20 km. of groomed cross country ski trails and snowshoeing in winter; access to nearby snowmobile trails for sledders, and a toboggan hill for the young at heart.

Friday, August 14, 2009

In Praise of Dark Skies

You can't see Orion's Belt in the sky this time of year -- unless you happened to be up at 3 a.m. watching the meteor shower peak on Wednesday morning.

Or unless you were out with us on the lawn looking at the stars this week -- and Nicole was with us. Nicole, you see, has wonderful freckles that describe a perfect miniature "Orion's Belt".

That's a fantastic constellation, both for the unaided eye, binoculars, and telescopes. It contains all sorts of clusters, and the famous Orion Nebula. This is the closest 'star factory' to us, and the only one you can see with the naked eye -- The nebula is visible with the naked eye even from areas affected by some light pollution. It is seen as the middle "star" in the sword of Orion, which are the three stars located south of Orion's Belt. The star appears fuzzy to sharp-eyed observers, and the nebulosity is obvious through binoculars or a small telescope. And Orion isn't just cranking out new stars and planets -- Orion's giant interstellar gas cloud measures a trillion miles across and contains enough water vapour to fill the Earth's oceans sixty times a day.

Orion's belt is held to represent the Three Kings, following the Star of Bethlehem, as well as being the sword belt of Orion the Hunter. Orion also is home to the big red star Betelguese (the name means -- and wait for this -- 'armpit of the mighty one', and is pronounced "Beetle Juice". So now you know about that!

At this time of year, however, while the Perseid meteor shower was streaking overhead, we were enjoying the spectacular Scorpio, stretched across the southern summer sky. At the beating heart of the Scorpion is our favourite summer star -- Antares. It is big, bright, red, and it pulses. Also, for those with sharp eyesight or a set of binoculars, you can see a thin green flash along one side of the star. That would be Antares B, the double star behind Antares, playing tricks with your colour vision. What it means is that this star is easy to spot, colourful, and funky -- great for star watchers! Antares is also, well, freaking HUGE! Makes us Earthlings humble...

Summer is so perfect for star watching, especially this time of summer, when the remnants of the Perseid meteor shower are still lighting up the sky. Seems like everyone likes to see shooting stars. Quick... make a wish!

1 comment:

  1. I've been so exhausted I haven't made it out to see the skies. But the days are full of fun and swimming and granddaughter!