How to Spend Time at Home During Quarantine? Stargazing, of Course!
Last weeks the world was occupied by pandemic Coronavirus COVID-19, which spreads very quickly in many countries. Most of us, even if not sick, voluntarily comply with self-quarantine, preventing the rapid spread of the epidemic. And it is right. But if you are as curious about stargazing as we are, there is no reason to worry that you can’t go outside. You can observe the night sky only through the window of your room. With the help of Star Walk 2.
We’ve got some tips on how to get the most out of home stargazing.
What about the weather forecast and light pollution?
First of all you should check the weather forecast on few coming nights and also the light pollution of your location. The Star Walk 2 widget on iOS can help you with this. It shows the percentage of visibility conditions, based on the weather forecast and light pollution. The widget shows some upcoming astronomical events as well.
Perhaps you are lucky and the sky would be clear outside the window.
Travel through time
The rotation of the Earth changes the sky view outside your window constantly. Perhaps this was not obvious to you, since you usually sleep at night, but at some specific night hours, the most interesting objects of the night sky will be visible from your window. And sometimes it's really worth staying up until the morning to observe them.
To understand what you can see tonight or in the coming nights:
- launch Star Walk 2 on your device.
- point it to the sky in compass mode from the window.
- fix the position by touching the sky area free of space objects.
- activate the time machine (icon in the upper right corner).
- tap on minutes not to miss anything and scroll the time machine bar to the future.
Follow the terminator on the Moon
The Moon is the most well-visible and incredibly beautiful object of the night sky. Many inexperienced stargazers believe that the full Moon is the best to observe.They are so wrong! In fact, enjoying the real beauty of the lunar landscape is possible only during the waning or waxing moon, between the full Moon and the new Moon. Now is the best time to do it.
You can see all the ominous and bewitching beauty of the lunar seas and craters at the border of light and darkness — the line of the terminator that moves along the lunar surface. In order to enjoy the beauty of the Moon, you do not need to have a telescope, just a simple binoculars or a camera with a good zoom would be enough. Using the Star Walk 2 time machine you can determine when the Moon will be visible from your window and enjoy its beauty. By the way there are three bright planets near the Moon right now — Jupiter, Saturn and Mars. Do not miss this opportunity!
Go hunting for bright satellites
Currently, there are several thousands of artificial satellites in the sky on the Earth orbit. Right now, some of them are flying over your head. Most of them are so small or hardly reflect light that they are never visible from the Earth. But in Star Walk 2 at the section “search -> satellites” there is a special category named “100 (or so) Brightest”. These ones which are above horizon in your location are highlighted in the list. Use the time machine to detect when one of them flies in front of your window. You can determine the movement direction of the satellite not to confuse it with another object, for example, with the bright lights of a flying aircraft.
The Star Walk 2 team wishes you and your loved ones health and a clear sky outside of the window for spectacular observations!