Tuesday, 16 August 2016


As a kid I really got hooked on the night sky on 20 July 1969 when the first Moon landing took place. We watched at school, totally gripped as Neil Armstrong and Buzz Aldrin stepped onto the Moon . This date is implanted into my mind.

Following that we got swamped by numerous American Science Fiction films and TV programmes, bubble gum cards and stories of UFO sighting, even some from the UK. But even before these, Doctor Who had become a firm favourite back in 1963.

My next landmark was seeing Saturn through a telescope, Jupiter and Mars followed and though I have never owned an astronomical telescope I frequently look at the night sky through binoculars and of course take photographs.

Now its seemed to be a lot easier to view the night sky, or so you would think. The internet makes accessing information very easy, photos even by amateur photographers are of a very high standard and generally there is more money about to buy specialist equipment.

On the down side Light Pollution is a lot greater and therefore obscures what may have been easier seen in the night sky in the 1960/1970's.

In Shetland there is less light pollution than other areas of the UK so that's a big bonus. Its a pity that the Shetland Astronomical Society has closed down, it may have been a good starting point for any young ones.

Looking at a few things the young Shetlanders have done, they might be more aware of the skies that most people think

The Northern Lights

She danced in the evening, in a northern sky;
Bright stars and the moon saw her display,
Shimmering and glittering, a bright arc up above.

She appears once in ages, never does she stay.
A pale golden yellow,
Growing as time went on;
Then quietly she vanished -
Just as mysteriously as she'd come

Louise Rosie (13) Shetland

More at www.amazingshetland.co.uk