Morning Star

A couple of days ago I decided to do a skydive. This was because I've never done one and they seem to be cheaper over here in New Zealand than back in the UK. I picked this particular time to do it because I wanted to see the spectacular views of Mt Cook, the Fox and Frans Josef glaciers and the coast while jumping out of a perfectly good plane.

I was signed up for an early morning start (5:30am), so I had to be up bright and early - difficult, especially when you don't want to set an alarm to wake up everyone else in the hostel. At that time it was still dark but the sky was very clear and I was able to make out quite a few stars. On the drive to Fox glacier the sky was brighter (the sun was about to come up) but I was able to make out a single, very bright point of light. My first thought was that it was either Jupiter or Saturn but I realised that it was too far east for that time of the morning. After some thinking, I managed to remember that New Zealand is currently in summer and nearer the equator than the UK, so the plane of the solar system (the ecliptic) makes a different angle in the sky than it did back home a few weeks ago. I now reckon that it was Venus. Perhaps someone with access to a planetarium program (or who knows the southern sky) can confirm it.

Oh, and the skydive was utterly amazing.

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Posted in astro blog by Stuart on Monday 06th Feb 2006 (23:16 UTC) | Permalink
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