About me

I am a sky-lover, living in Sussex, UK.

My fascination with photography drew me to a special appreciation of our closest star, and the effects of its light on clouds...especially on those days with intermittent sunshine and shadow, when the rays of the Sun are forever stretching out from behind the clouds, and then withdrawing back as another cloud passes beneath it.

I love the idea that above the clouds it is always sunny, that our star is always shining.

And when the Earth turns so we are in darkness, the sun is still shining on the other side of the planet...it's still there, no matter what.

My interest in the sun (and moon) expanded into interest in other stars but, until I took a basic GCSE Astronomy course (I came in the top ten of the country! Yay! :-D ) I hadn't considered the complexity of even the astronomical bodies in our own solar system, let alone star clusters, galaxies and the Universe. Learning the basics about the other planets and moons orbiting the sun was amazing, and learning where and how stars were born, and all the different ways they could die only fed my imagination. I wanted to know more.

So, I took up an Open University degree course, and loved it. You could study broadly, or you could study deeply. There was so much to absorb, that learning a bit about everything was mind-blowing to start with. And it didn't matter how deeply you wanted to delve into some idea or other, there was always deeper to go. It's a study that need never end.

One thing, though, that I found interesting, was how we have perceived our own heavens since the first man looked up and realised that most of the lights in the sky were the same night after night, rising and setting in about the same place every night....but that position changing throughout the year. Once they realised the permanence of certain stars' positions, they could use them to navigate far from their homes.

When I first learnt how to navigate using the Plough, Cassiopeia and the North Star, I walked every night with my face to the sky. At the time, I also knew many of the star names by heart. Unfortunately, so much goes on in life that a lot of new facts and information crowds out the old, and I forget much of what I once knew. But now I am recreating some of that through my posts on the constellations, because as I cover each one, I also cover many of the interesting celestial objects that attracted me to the study of Astronomy.

Investigating the constellations is my way of continuing my educations, and sharing what I find with other folk also interested in  exploring our skies.


Ole Guy said...

Thank you for sharing your thoughts and your website. I like it and thought how beautifully written and expressed. I am still trying to locate the North Star consistently. The animation of the Big and Little dipper helped a great deal. Being just several miles south of San Angelo, Texas, the city halo dims much of the Northern stars on the horizon, so maybe it is just out of sight most of the time. It was plain to see one morning at 4 am with both the Little and Big Dipper in sight. Jupiter and Venus were high in the sky and so bright. If I were at sea, I’d might be sailing in circles at night. Your web site is really cool!

Annelisa Christensen said...

Thank you so much for your kind words, Mitchman! (It took me ages to remember my log-in so I could answer you. You're right, it's been too long since I last posted! 😟)
I was really touched that you took the time to message me. I've been concentrating on writing a novel, amongst other things. Your lovely message has reminded me how much I enjoyed researching and paying about our constellations- so many still to do!
I'm glad my posts are helping you discover more about what we can see in the sky - awesome!
Thank you again. You made my day! 😊