Last night I did a Skywatch in a new location. It was high up on some moorland and had a great panoramic view in all directions except to the south-west.
The most exciting part of the evening was watching traffic fly in and out of a regional airport a few miles to the north. With such clear skies it was easy to understand how some people could see the navigation lights of aeroplanes and think they were something completely different. On one occasion I had to use an app on my phone to check if what I was seeing was a flight, which indeed it was. It was flying towards our location so we could not hear any engine noise until it approached to within a couple of miles.
With the moorland being so exposed it was really cold up there. The light wind had a chilling effect and I ended up having to put my gloves on. However, this didn’t put a dampener on things as the conversation was flowing the whole time.
In fact, conversation is one of the best things about doing a Skywatch. Being able to discuss theories and ideas with like-minded people. Testing opinions and learning new theories and facts were also all part of the mix. The subjects discussed were diverse and not all related to the main focus of the evening.
Despite the huge number of online groups and forums available on the subject, nothing beats getting outdoors and gazing upwards. Of course the chances of seeing anything highly unusual is remote, but you have to be out there looking to stand any chance at all.