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Astronomy Today



Saturn Rising – Google Sky Map

April 2012

After months of dominating the night sky, Jupiter’s reign is on the wane and the second largest planet of our solar system can now be seen late into the night rising from the east.  

The magical rings are visible with a telescope but the planet itself is visible to the naked eye.

Professor Brian Cox has reawakened interest in the night sky with his BBC television series and he is as passionate about the subject as was Patrick Moore before him.

Those who are novices to night sky watching, or have a little knowledge may be interested to know that Google have developed an App which works on Android mobile phones.   Free to download, the programme makes use of GPS (global positioning system) and maps our solar system, highlights and names the planets and joins the dots of constellations.  It even shows the phases of the moon including when it is in eclipse.

But this is the coolest aspect – If you move your phone so that it points to the floor you are standing on, the screen displays the night sky as seen from the southern hemisphere and displays constellations such as the Southern Cross, a sight which you will never see from England.

This programme clearly demonstrates our position in our suns solar system, and gives us a sense of living on a planet which is journeying around space.  

Even the life of the oldest person alive today is just the minutest nano, nano second of time compared with the time scale of the universe.




 Nicola Bailey Gibson  Gardening MicroRead       Image Bo Nightingale


Nicola Baily Gibson

The Grapevine Odiham

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