Join LAPIS for a Worldwide Skywatch!
What if we can’t attend?
You CAN! Even if we’re in lockdown this event can still go ahead! Limited only by your imagination, we ask everyone, LAPIS member, associate, or if you’ve only just heard of us with this advert, to join together on the 16th January 2021 for a Skywatch. And even if you’re busy for the whole 24 hours of the 16th, maybe you can choose another time zone to post in or just post the day before or the day after, we’re fairly laid back people 😊
What is a Skywatch?
Usually we gather together in a dark skies location, maybe have a meal and a pint first, and then stand or sit out in the dark and spot comets, shooting stars, satellites, the ISS, aircraft, even ships (on the sea!). It can be cold but the night sky can be astonishing!
What’s the point?
As a group with a heritage which includes UFO Investigation (Yes, that LOGO isn’t random!) we like our members to be familiar with the night (and daytime) skies. The only way to reliably recognize when you’re seeing a satellite or a meteor is to get out in the dark and see them for real. This way if you see something unusual you can at least rule out the obvious culprits, and often you find that the mundane things like aircraft can appear really weird due to atmospheric effects.
So what’s different about this Skywatch?
Early on this year when we were in full lockdown, there was a satellite launch that ordinarily we would have organized a Skywatch to try and observe. As it was we weren’t able to do that, but we could individually go into our gardens and try to see the satellites as they flew over.
Then we had an epiphany! And it can’t be described better than the late, great Douglas Adams;
“Space is big. You just won’t believe how vastly, hugely, mind-bogglingly big it is. I mean, you may think it’s a long way down the road to the chemist’s, but that’s just peanuts to space.”
You get the point. The fact is that MOST of LAPIS’s members and friends will be looking at the same sky. (And if you aren’t, for example you’re in the Southern hemisphere, then we’re very very interested in seeing your perspective!). Therefore we can all get together while staying at home.
I’m IN!, How do we take part?
We haven’t finalized plans yet (We’ve only just thought of the idea to be honest but wanted to let everyone know as soon as possible). Initial plans include Facebook and Twitter on the evening of the 16th January 2021 between 8pm and late, but there will probably be people around all day if you want to include daytime photos and comments and if you’re in a different time zone feel free to send in your pictures when it’s actually dark, or whenever you can! Participation is really only limited by your imagination. Are you a painter or sketch artist and want to create a piece of artwork? Do you only own a phone camera? Or do you have a back-garden observatory with a massive ‘scope? We welcome any and all photos from everyone! We will hopefully be able to offer advice between now and then on how you can shoot the stars with just a phone camera, or how to find things in the night sky.
Coincidental astronomical event…
While the open star cluster M41 Was discovered by Giovanni Batista Hodierna before 1654, it was perhaps known to Aristotle about 325 B.C. It was cataloged by Messier on the 16th January 1765, the same day, 256 years prior, that we are having our skywatch. Why not try to image it? It might not be visible to you on the day but if you can image it between now and then why not send us a pic on the night?
All you have to do right now is "LIKE" our facebook page @LAPISWorldwideSkywatch
The LAPIS Conference organizing team.