East of Constantinople, West of Shanghai

Night sky

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There’s a comet in the sky, and it will be at its brightest next week, which is fitting, considering Christmas is approaching and all that. A good opportunity to carry outside my telescope and some hot chocolate, and spend a few hours watching. The comet is called 46P/Wirtanen, and it is not visible in the naked eye except in really clear sky/no lights areas; but otherwise can actually be spotted with a good pair of binoculars.

My father loved to watch the night sky, and back when his health was still sound he’s sit in the courtyard at night, in the summer, contemplating the night sky.
And now he’s not here anymore, things if possible got even better. Recently both neighboring houses were vacated, so we no longer suffer from a strong light pollution. The night sky has never been clearer here in Via Mazzini.

As support for my forthcoming nightly pursuit, I’ll be using The Illustrated Guide to Astronomical Wonders I got in a huge book bundle two years back, and the old reliable, the Stellarium free software.

I was talking about the local night sky a few hours back with a friend, while discussing “the magic of Christmas” – for me and my brother this Christmas will be as frugal and home-bound as the last, and not particularly magical. We are simply planning a good dinner, some music and then – weather permitting – a walk outside to enjoy the quiet, the night sky, and to try and spot the field animals at night – we’ve got foxes and hares and owls.
I’ll post about our country style Christmas and New Year – maybe a few recipes, some books, some music. This blog is generally devoted to my writing and my reading – but those are closely connected with the environment I am living in.

We’ve fallen on hard times, as the poet said, me and my brother, and our country is drifting in directions we do not like at all, but these are more reasons to try and build a pleasant, simple environment.
A good dinner and some easy company are often enough to keep the darkness away.

Author: Davide Mana

Paleontologist. By day, researcher, teacher and ecological statistics guru. By night, pulp fantasy author-publisher, translator and blogger. In the spare time, Orientalist Anonymous, guerilla cook.

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