Half an hour of summer

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At ten o’clock I put my nose out of doors.  It was mild, still, more than half the sky clear.  A bat was patrolling in front of the houses, careering eccentrically from side to side, showing off with sudden tight banking spirals, death-defying plunges and 180-degree turns in its own length.  Once or twice it passed close enough for me to hear the flirrup of its wings.  I wondered how it had lived through the appalling weather.

By 11 the stars were coming out.  Of course, things being as they are, it was more of a hokey-cokey: in, out, in, out …  It’s so long since I saw the sky that all the constellations have moved round, and I spent a while re-orientating myself.

Antares in binoculars has a curious way of flashing red and green.  Sagittarius was fuzzy but visible, and I had a momentary glimpse of the star clouds above it.  The Milky Way was not at its best, but at least I could see it, and the great rift through Cygnus.  Delphinus and Sagitta and Aquila were present and correct, as was Cassiopeia, but Perseus never appeared at all.  Andromeda was rising: could I get a hint of M31?  Not a chance… Clouds were moving in, and I have to get up tomorrow.

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2 responses »

  1. Yeah, that brings me back… nights in England… will it be clear… the forecast says yes… it looks like it’s going to clear up… it’s getting dark… let’s get the ‘scope out…

    …ah…. bollocks… here come the clouds…

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