Tuesday, November 09, 2010

trains and automobiles (Mississauga)

No planes. Well, I saw many. But I did not observe from.

During the ride from Union station via the GO train along the Milton line, I watched the crystal clear sky darken. As I stepped off the train at the Dixie station and turned west, I immediately saw crescent Moon, high but descending. Pale Earthshine.

A few moments later, now at the MiWay bus stop, I looked south, and spotted Jupiter, very blue-white compared to the airplane headlights, tangled in the hydro wires. We waited for 10 minutes for the bus. Meanwhile, I scanned the western horizon trying to pick up small points of light. But then I had no idea if any planets were over there. Wasn't Mars near Antares?

It was a short ride up Dixie and a very long wait on Eglinton for my next connection. I watched Jupiter climb higher into the sky as stars began the emerge. The stacked up planes beelined from the south then turned west. It was difficult to pick off constellations looking over the Canada Post gateway.

Later, Jupiter accompanied me as I drove from Mississauga. On blank, black stretches of highway, I'd steal glances out the front window, high, out the side window. It looked like a beautiful sky. Enjoy the occasional cutoff light fixtures along the way. The CAMI plant in Ingersol has the most horrible lighting.

Soon, I was southbound on Hwy 4. And could clearly seeing Orion kicking up over the horizon. Rigel was shimmering. Good transparency; bad seeing. That was unfortunate. But then, I wasn't planning to observe. I knew I'd be tired. And I really just wanted to visit Mom—and Nancy—and wind down.

Unpacking the car in Mom's driveway, between moments where the garage light sensor did not detect me, I took in the bright stars and asterisms, the Milky Way, against deep sky. "So dark out here." The Pleiades jumped, Auriga was high. Even the sky, north to London, looked good.

Let's see if I get lucky with more clear weather... Didn't think to bring my eyepieces.

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