I am one of the many German students studying abroad. I am one of the people who love travelling. I can't sit still, I always have to do stuff. I am curious, always chasing for stories. Stay here for a while and be part of my respaced world

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

The Southern Sky

Last night I went to participate nightly telescope session at the Sydney Observatory. Do you remember the scene in 'The Lion King' (König der Löwen) where Simba learns that the stars in the sky are his ancestors watching him? And maybe some of my German followers know this saying:'Friends are like stars. You might not be able to see them every day, but you know that there are always there.' (not a really good translation but I hope you get the point).

I like stars. In history, stars guided travellers to their destinations. For me, they have the effect of making me feel close to my family, friends, home, because seeing stars reminds me of the idea that no matter how far away I am, they can still see the same stars in the sky as I do.

Well, not so much. Due to the fact that the earth is divided into Northern and Southern Hemisphere, my Sydney night sky looks different than the night sky in Europe.

In the Southern Hemisphere (where I am now) I can see the Southern Cross and the Carinae Nebula. The poor Europeans can't spot them, no matter how good their telescopes are. Wikipedia says:
The South Pole is oriented towards the galactic centre and this, combined with clearer skies, makes for excellent viewing of the night sky from the Southern Hemisphere with brighter and more numerous stars.
But in order to make people living in the Nothern Hemisphere feel better, I have to say that You guys have the bright pole star!! (No pole star here!)

Courtesy Heavens-Above

The visit at the Sydney Observatory was really nice, I had a look through the oldest working telescope in Australia. I learned that young stars are the hottest (yay, a nice new metaphor!) , and that when they turn older they change their light from bluish to yellow. Our very ambitious guide told us (a group of fourteen people) much more, but a glass of whine and the nightly sky made me less focused on the astronomic facts.
I enjoyed the turning cuppolas of the two observatory domes. They made loud noises when they turned and made you feel as if you were in the world of Harry Potter. Then, the guide told us that the lense of the oldest working telescope in Australia was made in 1874 by Hugo Schroeder.

Hugo Schroeder (=Schröder) was an optician in Hamburg, Germany.
I guess as long as I am in Australia it's not going to be the sky reminding me of home, indeed it's going to be an old telescope. That's fine, too, isn't it?





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