Really Dark Skies Over Sunflower Farm


| 12/5/2011 7:36:53 AM


Tags: stargazing, nature appreciation, dark skies, Cam Mather,

 By Cam Mather

A month or so ago (October 24th) my cats woke me up in the middle of the night. Since I was awake, I got up and went to the bathroom. I looked out the bathroom window, which faces north, and noticed that something didn’t look quite right in the northern sky. Of course I didn’t have my glasses on, so it was all kind of blurry. I did manage to see a comet streak through the sky and I wondered, “What were the odds of that?”  But even after the comet was gone, I could still some eerie light coming from the north.

So I stumbled upstairs and got my glasses, and came back down and went outside and stood in front of the house and stared at the sky. There was a crazy light show happening to the north. There was no moon and even if there had been, it wouldn’t have been shining from that part of the sky. Since it was only 4 a.m. I knew it wasn’t the sun rising.

I can’t put my finger on what I saw, but it was a light that isn’t usually there and it was really cool. When we watched the news the next night I found out that a lot of U.S. States had experienced a great show of the northern lights because of solar radiation. So while I didn’t get the full show, it was pretty cool. And it’s one of the best things about living in the woods. Just staring up at the night sky. Apparently Michelle sleeps quite well out here in the country, since I managed to get out of bed once, then come back and get my glasses, go out the front door and stand outside for 10 minutes, then go back to bed, and Michelle didn’t even know I had been gone. I guess that aliens could have abducted me and she would have missed the whole thing.

Courtesy of http://starlightcascade.ca
Photo courtesy of http://starlightcascade.ca

We really lucked out in finding this place. We are within a reasonable driving distance of Toronto and Ottawa, but we do not get the light pollution from those big cities. On nights when we have meteor showers it’s just an awesome place to watch them. As the Lennox & Addington County (where we live) website says...

One of the many highlights of L&A is that our dark nights make conditions ideal for stargazing. L&A is the most southern point in Ontario where the night sky is so pristine, offering a night sky experience very similar to what was available 100 years ago.

The conditions here must be perfect for stargazing, as world-renowned astronomer Terence Dickinson chose to live here in Lennox & Addington over anywhere else in the universe. (http://www.lennox-addington.on.ca/things-to-do/experience-the-outdoors/star-gazing.html)

Not too shabby.....




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