Night sky visibility... Update

When we first came to France… I felt as if I could reach up and touch the stars… magical.

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When I bought my house the Hale Bopp comet dominated the sky.

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Some moderate light pollution to the north, and minor light pollution to the south-west but mostly an unfettered 360° view of the sky at night, with an amazing arc of the milky way right overhead…peppered with satellites sailing over, and no doubt the ISS (if I could recognize it).

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For the ISS sightings in 2017 etc

Hi Alex

Try ‘Sky guide’ on IOS. Not sure if it’s on Android. Point it to the night sky and it will label the stars/planets/comets and satellite.

We are in Creuse, very close to the border of Puy de Dome, so similar great night skies.

Real pleasure to sit back and check them out. Bring back memories of great scfi books as my minds goes for a wonder… :slight_smile:


One of the first things we did on arrival…we joined the local Astronomy Club… to find out what we were looking at. They made us very welcome and did their best to understand us… and make us understand them.:relaxed:

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My little brother has been Star Crazy since he was 10… now retired… “Emeritus Professor of Astronomy, Astrophysics”…

He was astounded when I told him what we were doing/seeing… as I had never expressed any interest before… well, we couldn’t see much in UK due to light pollution… (which I understand is being tackled nowadays :smiley:)

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donkey’s years ago… I had a prototype hardcopy …Christmas present from the chap who invented it.:relaxed:

The night sky from our terrace is a great view. We have our backs to the village and look out to the East and into nothing for about 10km.

At around 10:30 on 9-10 August we saw the biggest of shooting stars, not the usual little dot across the sky that disappears but a giant ball that took 2-3 seconds to traverse from South to North before it passed from view (still going strong). It was at an elevation of around 25-30 degrees so passed behind large oarks out of view. It had a tail of blue and yellow and smaller bits were either breaking off or travelling in parallel.
Did anyone else see this?
Was it a ‘known stellar event’?

Yes I did make a wish :-):grin:

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Hi @RayR probably the Perseid shower (not sure of the spelling)…wonderful to see what we call “flaming arrows” (as per the old cowboy films)…:sunglasses:

Thanks for that!! (ISS) :smiley:

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Here you need to put on star-block (like sun block) before going out at night. It’s just amazing. (That was a joke, just in case). We have a real astronomer in the village so get lots of info on what’s going on in the sky. It’s amazing to see the moons of Jupiter with just simple binoculars. And Saturn through a telescope.

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Yippee… everyone… we stepped outside, just to check the weather… and there… up high… the ISS majestically crossed from right to left…

We were wondering if we had had one glass too many… but …I’ve just checked the sighting with the website and it tallies up. … :relaxed:

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The moon here above La Couronne, Martigues is just amazing tonight! The sunset was too, not as lucky as you all with no light pollution though. Must look out for the ISS tomorrow night, thanks for the tip Stella!

I couldn’t believe we managed to hit the 3 minute window…and purely by chance… 'cos I had forgotten all about it :relaxed:

Failed to spot it tonight… and let a bat into the bedroom… so spent a chaotic few minutes trying to gently steer it back outside again…:relaxed:

Phew, I’ll try to spot ISS again on Friday night…

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Just to let you know… Our local council have re-organised the street lighting.

Now the whole village is lit up until half-past midnight… and from then on, only a chosen few lights remain until dawn… just enough to let folk safely out of the Salle des Fêtes, the carpark… and then down the “high street” and out into the countryside… :smile:

Makes an enormous difference to us night-sky watchers… and hopefully saves the commune a few cents to spend on something else…:heart_eyes:

The streetlights on my road go out at eleven each evening except for two or three nights, including New Year’s Eve when the stay on until 1.00.

This provides some good info… interesting to note the different years/timescales… am hoping our village will make even less of an impression next year.

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Stella, that is excellent!

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