Star Gazing Live – What can you see through your star light?Published on 18th March 2015
Current conditions notwithstanding, we’ve had some beautifully clear skies lately, and with the spring unfurling around us we should be due an awful lot more, making this the perfect time for a spot of star gazing.
For the serious amateur astronomer star gazing involves huddling on a hill top with a thermos flask and telescope. At Apropos we prefer to do things the comfortable way, and having the chance to lie back and look at the stars from the comfort of our own home is one of our favourite things about skylights.
So what can you spot through your skylight in the UK at this time of year?
Perhaps most obviously, at around 9am on March 20th a partial solar eclipse will be visible across the UK, but the night sky has plenty of subtler offerings.
Looking south, Orion will be glimmering with his sparkly, multi-star belt cinching his rectangular form at the waist, while the dog star, Sirius, can be seen in the Canis Major constellation to the lower left of Orion. Shaped rather like an upside down Y, Cancer is easy to spot further left in the sky, while the two stick men of the Gemini constellation take a little more imagination to define.
Looking north, the Plough (AKA the Big Dipper) with its long handle and large scoop is clear to see at this time of year, while its smaller cousin, the ladle-shaped Little Dipper (Ursa Minor) sits to the left of the Plough and has the Pole Star to mark the end of its tail. Straight after sunset you can also see planet Venus; the brightest ‘star’ in the western part of the sky.
With a well-positioned chair or bed beneath, a skylight can bring the whole of the solar system into your home. A telescope or binoculars could improve your encounter with the stars, but simply lying back in the dark with a glass of wine can be relaxing, romantic, or even educational.
Apropos bespoke skylights are available for as little as £13,000 and can be installed into almost any room with direct roof access – including listed buildings.