The Moon and Venus over the Bay of Fundy
One of the fun things about living where we do, overlooking the Bay of Fundy in a rural part of Nova Scotia, is that we are under pretty dark skies. Often there is fog, and so that interferes with what we can sometimes see, but when the clouds part the fact that we are in a dark sky reserve, one of the few places on Earth designated by a UN backed “Starlight Initiative” as a “dark sky area”, means that often we get quite the celestial show.
I did a photography show about stars and the value of dark skies a few years ago, and it was mounted with the images being shown across Nova Scotia, in Halifax, Annapolis Royal and here in Yarmouth, for example. This week’s image, taken last night, is of the Moon and Venus – looking right off our back deck over the Bay. The clouds hadn’t quite disappeared, so there is an interesting effect of shadows on both, but to see the two objects in such close proximity (a conjunction as astronomers call it) is really one of the neater things to watch. Seeing the fishing boats out on the horizon, their lights scanning the waves for the lobster trap buoys marking where they deposited the gear, adds to the mystery and interest.
To be able to look up and see a host of galaxies, planets, stars and even the odd satellite is something we should never take for granted. People living in the cities have exchanged man made light for nature’s offerings. Here under darkened skies, we can look up and see things our ancestors marvelled at and even steered their boats by.
City folk don’t know what they’re missing.