The Winter Constellations
The clear, crisp evenings of winter often provide for excellent seeing conditions. The colder air doesn’t have the capacity to hold water vapor, which means the atmosphere is more transparent on moonless nights and appears quite dark. Coupled with the dark skies are some of the brightest stars of any season, and the combination provides the star gazer with breathtaking views. Or maybe it’s just the freezing cold temperatures! Be sure to dress in layers to keep warm. You will enjoy winter star gazing more if you participate with an organized star party that may have viewing areas with a warming house complete with red lights to preserve night vision. If you are using a telescope or binoculars you may need to invest in dew heaters for your eyepiece, finder scope, and secondary mirror to keep these items from frosting up. Of course, you could pack up your gear and head south to warmer climates to do star gazing!