Documentaries and Spica

Well not been doing too much stargazing this past few weeks when I had the time the weather was too wet or too windy to be out. Spent a bit of time on the internet and found a few very interesting documentaries on the universe. The two I enjoyed the most was in four parts this is part one from You Tube. The best though has to be The 7 Ages of Starlight, a BBC documentary. I have watched it a couple of times now as I find it fascinating.

Now when not watching documentaries, preparing for Christmas, going to Christmas dos – well you have to don’t you? I did actually get some stargazing in on the 16th. I manage to find the star Spica. This is a blue giant and the 15th brightest star in the sky, 250 light years from Earth part of the Virgo constellation. As it is one of the largest binary star systems to the sun there are quite a few observational studies on it. The Flag of Parά has a blue star representing Spica on it – just thought you might want to know that little know fact (I had to look up Parά – it’s in Brazil.)

Spica, the 15th brightest star in the skies

The waning crescent moon rose first then after midnight you could find Spica quite easily as it follows the moon, although I saw it as I was returning home after a party about 4am!! As it was not a particularly good night for viewing I was quite pleased with myself with finding it. Hopefully after Christmas I will have a planisphere to help me. Tell you about what that is next post.