New Stars

Tonight (6/13) in Arusha was the first clear night I had to really look at the sky in the southern hemisphere. It was misty or raining nearly every night in Bali, though there was one evening where I saw the stars for a few minutes, but it wasn’t as clear as tonight. Last night there was a new moon and tonight there were no clouds. It is beautiful. You can see most of the sky from the roof patio.

The only star I recognized was the red giant Arcturus. The rest of them were new. I have seen the Southern Cross before, in Morocco, but it was distant then and closer to the edge of the sky. When I saw it tonight, it was central. It is still hard for me to identify these new constellations, even though I downloaded a map this evening. I thought I had the cross figured this evening, but in fact, I think I had a mix up with the Triangulum Australe. That’s okay – I’ve got some campsites ahead that should afford me plenty of chances to figure it out. I plan to print the sky map at the travel agency tomorrow. Maybe I can even take a long-exposure photograph of it one night. It’d have to be done on film, but I think I might try it.

It is wonderful being under foreign stars. Maybe I can show them to Tom if the sky is clear in Argentina.

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