Aha! Yesterday’s complaint about weather woes was either ill-timed or somehow reached a sympathetic ear. We behold clarity again! and just in time for the weekend. The clouds trundled away eastward by late afternoon, leaving more than a few of us open-mouthed at the sudden expanse that opened over our heads.
A blue sky truly grants a sense of headroom, of possibility. Strange how the weather can have such a remarkable effect on the psyche. After suffering endless days of grey skies, the simple act of walking out into sunshine causes old souls to laugh like children. It didn’t used to do that.
Last night, we went out and located the sky (it was overhead, just beyond the treetops). We found the Milky Way, studied a few constellations. I then became obsessed with an object low and sparkly on the south east horizon. In my 7×50 binoculars, it kept turning red and green. I was sure it was a UFO.
Can a star do that? Well, if your optics are less than perfect, it apparently can as aberrations in the glass split the light into spectral components. Turns out, we were mooning over the mag 1.16 star, Fomalhaut.
No cigar this time, although we have espied more than one strange light this season that seemingly defies conventional aircraft movement and behavior. It only takes some consistent looking.