Stargazing

Millinder House has no street lighting nearby and there can be absolutely beautiful starry nights. Away from the North there is very little light pollution. When the snow is on the ground the night sky can look amazing.

These images of the night sky were taken by Geoff Elston, an amateur astronomer from Chesham, who stayed here in September 2008.

He said that Millinder House is a “good location to see the beautiful night sky in all its glory.”

Taurus rising in the East (28 Sep 2008 at 2325UT). This image shows the night sky above the eastern horizon pointing directly away from The Granary. You can see in the image the tops of the trees situated at the bottom of the garden. Most of the stars in the image are in the constellation of Taurus. The small bright cluster of stars (just right of middle) is called: “The Pleiades” (or more commonly: “The Seven Sisters”).

M45 Tauri (2 Oct 2008 at 2241UT) This is the Pleiades star cluster at closer range. The bluish misty patches around some of the stars is dust and gas lying around the stars themselves and not an artefact of the camera or the night sky. The stars are very hot (hence their bluish-white colour) and they light up the dust and gas lying around them.

M31 Andromeda (3 Oct 2008 at 2236UT) This is the “Andromeda Galaxy”. It is a large object that is visible to the unaided eye in a modestly dark sky. It is a “spiral” galaxy just over 2 million light years distance from the Earth (quite close astronomically speaking). You can see it lies at an angle to us (e.g. its not “face-on” nor “edge-on” to the Earth). The smaller galaxy just above the main galaxy is a satellite galaxy called “M32″.