Gaze at the stars

Orion picStar gazing has always been a bit of a hobby of mine. I love looking up at the stars on a crystal clear night and seeing the stars emerge and envelop the night sky.

Stars are powerful. They dare us to imagine and connect the dots, to see princesses, kings, and creatures from tales from long ago. They inspire us to dream and to make wishes.

Stars lead us on journeys and lead us back home again. Above all, stars connect us with our world, the greater universe, and our fellow man. They put our lives in perspective.  Sometimes when I walk at night and look at the stars, I think of the people in other parts of the hemisphere looking at the same constellations I’m gazing at. It makes my troubles and worries seem smaller somehow.

Next Saturday is the Winter Solstice so this week’s Happy Act is to star gaze. If you live in an urban area, this might be more of a challenge. Make an outing to a dark park on a clear night (but stay safe—don’t get mugged!), or drive out of the city, park the car and look up into the sky. Get one with the universe. If you’re lucky, you might see a falling star, and your wish might come true.

Some tips this week if you live in Eastern Ontario. Queen’s University Observatory has a free Open House the second Saturday of every month. Check it out. There’s also an area in North Frontenac that has been deemed a dark sky viewing area. Finally, we’re luck y to have one of the leading astronomers, Terence Dickinson live in our area. If you can, watch for and attend one of Terry’s talks. If you’re new to star gazing, this short video will help. See if you can find Orion, Cassiopeia, The Big Dipper, which is an asterism, a constellation within the constellation Ursa Major, the Great Bear and Ursa Minor which is home to the North Star. My favourite is Pleiades, a cluster of seven stars known as the Seven Sisters. If you’re interested, ask Santa for a good little constellation book you can take on your nightly walks.

7 thoughts on “Gaze at the stars

  1. How Does Looking at the stars help you get over stressful situations if your too Stressed out. I was just wondering about that.

    1. There’s something powerful about looking into the sky and realizing just how small we really are compared to the rest of the universe. Troubles get smaller, fears become less scary, and hurdles look less hurdle-y.

      Sometimes you just need a few moments alone with your thoughts to get perspective on what’s most important in life. And if that doesn’t work, a good cry can wipe away a lot of cobwebs 🙂

    1. Just read your blog, Bob–great stuff. You paint a more fuller picture of how the stars have permeated our culture. With so much constantly changing in our lives, it’s neat when you realize the stars are a constant through the ages. Like the “hurdles are less hurdle-y” quote Jess. Have to use that sometime!

  2. This is a great happy act. We love stargazing at our house and with the hustle and bustle of the season, I’d forgotten Saturday is winter solstice. We’ve been to the Queens observatory and thought it was great. My son loved it so much we bought him a telescope of his own, so we’ll definitely be doing some stargazing Saturday night!

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