The advent of Winter brings many changes. Some for the worse such as cold wet weather traffic chaos and, more importantly, abandoned football matches. But, and this time it is a good but, some for the better because this is the time of year where sky gazing is at its most rewarding. On a clear night the stars and planets put on a dazzling display which mankind cannot match and it’s all for free. All you need do is glance up at the sky. Better still if you can find a place that doesn’t suffer from light pollution or blot out the lights by raising your hand to the side of your eye as this causes a dramatic difference - try it and see.
Two weeks ago I was reading about a visiting comet which was visible to the naked eye in the north eastern sky. Despite travelling at thousands of miles per minute this comet remained visible for several weeks and never seemed to move, thus emphasising its size and distance from Earth.
Incredibly this comet up until recently was only visible through a powerful telescope. The theory is that something catastrophic happened such as a mighty collision or an explosion which suddenly made it visible to the naked eye -fascinating stuff.
Anyway the bad news is that the world famous Oakshaw Observatory could be being run down. Its traditional access from Oakshaw street has been closed and visitors have to find their way to the main door of the museum and request a visit to the Observatory. They are given no assistance or instruction on how to do this. Worried Buddies are concerned that this is the thin end of the wedge and the latest underhand cut back by the SNP/ Lib Dem administration. This is an act of cultural vandalism and they ought to be ashamed.
I visited the Observatory before and used the telescope when it was trained on Saturn. What I saw was breathtaking. There were the famous ‘rings of Saturn’ as clear as a bell. Exactly the same as they were in my “Dan Dare” comic all those years ago. An unforgettable experience - would the SNP dare close it?