Corfe Castle at night
Corfe Castle at night.
I was hoping it’d be dark enough for a good view of the Milky Way but with a waxing gibbous moon (the phase between the first quarter and the full moon) it just wasn’t dark enough. However, plenty of stars to be seen and with a Barn Owl hunting close to West Hill an enjoyable evening.
 Cygnus "The Swan"
One of the biggest drawbacks about living in a city is the ridiculous amount of light pollution. Thankfully there are several excellent programmes available free of charge eg. Stellarium and even Google Sky that offer guidance for us townies when coming across a dark sky. Armed with a bit of knowledge at 10pm the moon set and I looked up towards the constellation Cygnus “The Swan”
 The Milky Way
Gradually the Milky Way was slowly revealed as the lights from Poole and Bournemouth began to fade.

The dominating stars of Cygnus form a cross, sometimes called the “Cross of the North”, which can be seen in the above photo. Alpha Cygni also known as Deneb is the brightest star near the top, Gamma Cygni or Sadr is just above the center, and Beta Cygni or Albireo near the bottom form the vertical axis. Epsilon Cygni on the left and Gamma and Delta Cygni on the right form the horizontal axis. At this location the Milky Way is bisected by a dark absorption lane formed by unilluminated dust and gas.

To find your nearest dark sky please see the following light pollution map

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