Technology The cosmos at your window

The cosmos at your window

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View of the Milky Way in Einsiedl, in the south of Germany, in August 2018. MATTHIAS BALK / AFP

“Even if confined, there is still a way to get out more than a kilometer from your home: by looking at the sky! ” It is with this sentence that the review Sky & Space begins, on its website, a series of articles offering prisoners of coronavirus to escape for a few moments, by eye and by spirit, by performing the most beautiful of immobile odyssey: a plunge into the cosmos. “Even in wartime, we didn’t think about bombing all the time. It’s not about denying the drama that’s going on, but not having the pandemic as your only subject in mind makes it easier to live explains Philippe Henarejos, editor-in-chief of the magazine. We told ourselves that everyone had a window open to the sky and that, even in the city with light pollution, there were things to see. Without leaving your home, without being outside the law, you can travel light years away. “

Whether your window faces north, east, south or west, everything is planned and each celestial landscape detailed. “We can easily observe Venus, who is the star of the evening right now, the Moon, or even, on certain days, see the International Space Station pass”, assures Philippe Henarejos, who advises to pay particular attention to the Taurus constellation where Venus currently rubs shoulders with a group of bright stars, the Pleiades.

No need for an instrument, even if simple theater binoculars will make the sighting more spectacular. “For those who get up early, around 6 a.m., he adds, and which have a clear southwest horizon, there is an exceptional trio of planets: Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. Mars recognizes itself by its orange color and Jupiter because it is the brightest. By elimination, Saturn is the last … ”

“Lunar challenge”

Sky & Space did not stop at this initiative. Inspired by these videos where members of orchestras and choirs, even confined to their own homes, gather online for concerts on shared screens, the review decided to launch a “lunar challenge” to its readers, young and old. “We ask them to photograph or draw the moon phase every evening”, details Philippe Henarejos. Each image must then be posted, specifying the date and time of observation, on social networks (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) where Sky & Space will get it back. “The idea is to follow the lunation during the month of April and make it into a sort of disparate film or work of art, specifies the editor of the review. It is also an opportunity to popularize the movement of the Moon around the Earth. “

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