Friday, January 05, 2007

The Stars of Oz

I didn't do much blogging from or about Australia when we were there on vacation this past summer (winter down there). It's a fabulous place. Tonight I was reading yet another new (used) book that "jumped the queue," Seeing in the Dark by Timothy Ferris (a fabulous science writer). His descriptions of the dark skies of his youth in Florida reminded me of one of the best things we saw in Oz - the southern night sky, including the Southern Cross, Alpha and Beta Centauri, and the Milky Way, set in the velvety-black skies above Jervis Bay National Park, 170 km south of Sydney. We walked on the beach on an especially clear night and the sky was simply dazzling.

I didn't have a camera capable of capturing anything like what we saw that night, so I checked on Flickr just now to see if someone else might have captured it. The picture here brought back the memory though it's hard to compare to the visual impression of all those bright stars against all that blackness. This photo was taken by "rplzzz" - check out his description here.

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