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(Some Guy)   How many stars can you see at night? We counted for you   (skyandtelescope.org) divider line
    More: Cool, Apparent magnitude, Observational astronomy, Celestial sphere, northern sky, variable stars, dark night, magnitude scale, naked eye limit  
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967 clicks; posted to STEM » on 23 Jan 2022 at 3:26 PM (16 weeks ago)   |   Favorite    |   share:  Share on Twitter share via Email Share on Facebook



29 Comments     (+0 »)
View Voting Results: Smartest and Funniest
 
2022-01-23 4:32:42 PM  
Joke's on you.  I live in a city and can easily make out a whole dozen lights in the sky.  Excluding the Moon, that's usually Mars and Jupiter, maybe an airplane or two.  I'm assuming I could also see Arcturus and Vega, but once I spot Mars or Jupiter that's where the telescope points.

I would not be surprised to find that on an exceptionally clear night, the total count is below 100.
 
2022-01-23 4:36:50 PM  

Unsung_Hero: Joke's on you.  I live in a city and can easily make out a whole dozen lights in the sky.  Excluding the Moon, that's usually Mars and Jupiter, maybe an airplane or two.  I'm assuming I could also see Arcturus and Vega, but once I spot Mars or Jupiter that's where the telescope points.

I would not be surprised to find that on an exceptionally clear night, the total count is below 100.


Yes, but of that 100, ALL of them have names, usually Arabic ones.
 
2022-01-23 4:38:44 PM  
My god, it's full of.....satellites.
 
2022-01-23 4:41:47 PM  

Sarah Jessica Farker: Unsung_Hero: Joke's on you.  I live in a city and can easily make out a whole dozen lights in the sky.  Excluding the Moon, that's usually Mars and Jupiter, maybe an airplane or two.  I'm assuming I could also see Arcturus and Vega, but once I spot Mars or Jupiter that's where the telescope points.

I would not be surprised to find that on an exceptionally clear night, the total count is below 100.

Yes, but of that 100, ALL of them have names, usually Arabic ones.


My God, it's full of terrorists.

/To say nothing of the al-Gebra terrorists at the math department.
 
2022-01-23 4:45:03 PM  

Unsung_Hero: Joke's on you.  I live in a city and can easily make out a whole dozen lights in the sky.  Excluding the Moon, that's usually Mars and Jupiter, maybe an airplane or two.  I'm assuming I could also see Arcturus and Vega, but once I spot Mars or Jupiter that's where the telescope points.

I would not be surprised to find that on an exceptionally clear night, the total count is below 100.


You can probably take out some more if you are near sighted.
 
2022-01-23 5:06:36 PM  
How many are there if I squint?
 
2022-01-23 5:08:06 PM  
Hmmm, I think yes one could probably individually count and discern about 9,000 stars, but the fuzzy background of the clear night sky is more than 9,000 points of light. The fuzzy galaxy (pliedes?) that looks like Orion's Sword and descends from his belt? I can see that (with my glasses now) and know that it contains billions of stars, but can I discern them? No. A lot of "stars" are galaxies, so does that affect the count? Probably not, so whatever. Fark statistics
 
2022-01-23 5:08:53 PM  
And Tycho Brahe, lying on his back in a pit on a frozen island catalogued a thousand of them over 500 years ago.

/Not bad for a guy with no nose; wore a metal prosthetic one.
//iirc, he didn't want to offend his host by getting up from the dinner table, ruptured his bladder and died a miserable death shortly thereafter.
 
2022-01-23 5:13:57 PM  
I live in a megapolis, but at about 3 am enough lights go out you can kinda see the sky.

Normally it's like that curse from The Dresden Files, "Empty night."
 
2022-01-23 5:26:21 PM  
Years ago I went camping to Yosemite with my then GF. Fourth generation SoCal, she had never been out where it gets dark.  About 2 am, she wakes me up, drags me out of the tent and points, "Is that the Milky Way?"  Yes, it was.
 
2022-01-23 5:45:42 PM  
🎵 it was something in the air that night, the stars were bright, Fernandooo🎶
 
2022-01-23 5:49:19 PM  

natazha: Years ago I went camping to Yosemite with my then GF. Fourth generation SoCal, she had never been out where it gets dark.  About 2 am, she wakes me up, drags me out of the tent and points, "Is that the Milky Way?"  Yes, it was.


That's a special night unless you live where you can do that whenever you want.

Me, I've only ever seen it in photos.  It is still on my 'to-do' list to go far enough North to have a good shot at seeing Northern lights and to see a night sky without significant light pollution.  Before my kids move out, so I can have them experience it too.
 
2022-01-23 6:05:45 PM  

Wine Sipping Elitist: Hmmm, I think yes one could probably individually count and discern about 9,000 stars, but the fuzzy background of the clear night sky is more than 9,000 points of light. The fuzzy galaxy (pliedes?) that looks like Orion's Sword and descends from his belt? I can see that (with my glasses now) and know that it contains billions of stars, but can I discern them? No. A lot of "stars" are galaxies, so does that affect the count? Probably not, so whatever. Fark statistics


That's not a galaxy, that's the Orion Nebula.  It's a stellar nursery, and there's about 700 stars in it, and it's about 1300 light years away.

The Pleiades are also not a galaxy, that's a small star cluster about 450 light years from us.
 
2022-01-23 6:31:57 PM  
I was in San Fran for a couple of days, and being a nerd, decided to check out Mt. Palomar observatory one night. Plus it was moon less night. And holy fark, in the parking lot, it was so dark, I literally could not see my hand like 6 inches from my face. It was like being totally blind. We had to keep one hand on the hood of the car, just so we wouldn't get lost. Makes you realize what it might have been like before electric lighting.
 
2022-01-23 6:56:22 PM  

Pointy Tail of Satan: I was in San Fran for a couple of days, and being a nerd, decided to check out Mt. Palomar observatory one night. Plus it was moon less night. And holy fark, in the parking lot, it was so dark, I literally could not see my hand like 6 inches from my face. It was like being totally blind. We had to keep one hand on the hood of the car, just so we wouldn't get lost. Makes you realize what it might have been like before electric lighting.


When I was a kid, my parents had a cottage in a hilly area.  Out in what was then the middle of nowhere.  There was no evening, the sun would drop below the hills and it would be pitch black.  And only a gas lantern in the main room for light until we went to sleep.

For some reason I still have fond memories of that, despite being little and still afraid of the dark.
 
2022-01-23 7:40:46 PM  
45ish years ago I would go spend a week with my Grandparents in rural SW Missouri each summer. Holy cow! Under a fool moon it was almost like daylight. I'd love to be able to repeat that experience again. The closest I've ever been since was up in the mountains above Puerto Vallarta. There was still some light pollution, but it was close.
 
2022-01-23 7:50:24 PM  
My best views have been several places near the Continental Divide in Colorado. Many places along Glenwood Canyon are nice if you are just passing through. Northern Nevada is all pretty good for viewing. Of course the Pacific Ocean is great anyplace you can get out of sight of land.

That might be all I can recommend. In a lot of developing countries, they do construction at night with very bright lighting. Important roads are lit up quite a bit. Light pollution is surprisingly bad. I suppose the problem is that any place a tourist is going to go is going to be built up or be building up.

And LED lighting is cheap enough that lighted greenhouses are not uncommon anymore. They increase productivity even if just by stretching daylength and forcing the plants.

Enjoy your stars while you can!
 
2022-01-23 7:52:43 PM  
I'm in Chicago.
We have precisely 6 stars visible.
 
2022-01-23 8:25:04 PM  

EsqueletoAtheist: I'm in Chicago.
We have precisely 6 stars visible.


How many are blinking?
 
2022-01-23 8:42:35 PM  
I was in awe at the night sky in Hawaii, even compared to a rural area on the mainland.
 
2022-01-23 8:53:45 PM  
i.imgur.comView Full Size
 
2022-01-23 9:04:19 PM  

Wine Sipping Elitist: A lot of "stars" are galaxies, so does that affect the count? Probably not, so whatever. Fark statistics


Also, no.  There are only a handful of galaxies visible with the naked eye, and none of them would ever be mistaken for stars.  They get much too dim with distance to be seen before they would get small enough to be mistaken for a star.

The biggest naked eye galaxy, angularly speaking, is the Large Magellanic Cloud, only visible from the Southern Hemisphere, and it takes up about 10 degrees of sky and is about 160,000 light years away.  For comparison the Sun and Moon only take up about half a degree.  The largest naked eye galaxy, just size wise, is our closest mature neighbor, Andromeda, which takes up about 3 by 1 degrees, and is about 2.5 million light years away.

The three smallest naked eye galaxies are Centaurus A, Sculptor, and Messier 81, which are barely visible under the best conditions with perfect eyesight, and they each take up about 25 arc minutes at their widest, which is just bit smaller than the Sun in the sky, and they're all a bit over 10 million light years away.  Anything farther than that you'll never see without magnification.
 
2022-01-23 9:26:12 PM  
Just one and only occasionally, but it's Scarlett Johansson's bathroom window so I'm not complaining.
 
2022-01-23 9:30:47 PM  
It would have been too tempting to start saying random numbers while they were counting and make them need to start over.
 
2022-01-24 12:59:48 AM  

Wine Sipping Elitist: Hmmm, I think yes one could probably individually count and discern about 9,000 stars, but the fuzzy background of the clear night sky is more than 9,000 points of light. The fuzzy galaxy (pliedes?) that looks like Orion's Sword and descends from his belt? I can see that (with my glasses now) and know that it contains billions of stars, but can I discern them? No. A lot of "stars" are galaxies, so does that affect the count? Probably not, so whatever. Fark statistics


That is a nebula on Orion's belt.  It is much closer and smaller than any galaxy.  The fuzzy blue light you see in it is interstellar gas, not stars.  There are stars in it, in fact stars are forming in it, but they number in the hundreds, not billions.

The pleiades are something entirely different -- a cluster of stars a little over 400 ly away.
 
2022-01-24 2:05:17 AM  

TheMysteriousStranger: Sarah Jessica Farker: Unsung_Hero: Joke's on you.  I live in a city and can easily make out a whole dozen lights in the sky.  Excluding the Moon, that's usually Mars and Jupiter, maybe an airplane or two.  I'm assuming I could also see Arcturus and Vega, but once I spot Mars or Jupiter that's where the telescope points.

I would not be surprised to find that on an exceptionally clear night, the total count is below 100.

Yes, but of that 100, ALL of them have names, usually Arabic ones.

My God, it's full of terrorists.

/To say nothing of the al-Gebra terrorists at the math department.


I was held hostage by those bastards for HOURS once. All because i dared to play Tetris on a TI-93 graphing calculator instead of pay attention to whatever the hell the guy was saying.

Farking al-Gebras. They hate our freedom!
 
2022-01-24 2:06:27 AM  

EsqueletoAtheist: I'm in Chicago.
We have precisely 6 stars visible.


And 3 of them are planets.
 
2022-01-24 8:25:13 AM  
Before the installed street lights (and guard rails) back in the 1970s and 1980s on St. Thomas US Virgin Islands at the 18th latitude used to have awesome night skies. Some nights the moon is like a mini sun, you can almost get a tan off it because it is so bright. Other nights it was pitch black, especially out on the Atlantic Ocean/Caribbean Sea. Most nights the moon provides enough light to see around, at least when my vision was young.
 
2022-01-24 7:37:23 PM  

LrdPhoenix: Wine Sipping Elitist: Hmmm, I think yes one could probably individually count and discern about 9,000 stars, but the fuzzy background of the clear night sky is more than 9,000 points of light. The fuzzy galaxy (pliedes?) that looks like Orion's Sword and descends from his belt? I can see that (with my glasses now) and know that it contains billions of stars, but can I discern them? No. A lot of "stars" are galaxies, so does that affect the count? Probably not, so whatever. Fark statistics

That's not a galaxy, that's the Orion Nebula.  It's a stellar nursery, and there's about 700 stars in it, and it's about 1300 light years away.

The Pleiades are also not a galaxy, that's a small star cluster about 450 light years from us.


LrdPhoenix: Wine Sipping Elitist: A lot of "stars" are galaxies, so does that affect the count? Probably not, so whatever. Fark statistics

Also, no.  There are only a handful of galaxies visible with the naked eye, and none of them would ever be mistaken for stars.  They get much too dim with distance to be seen before they would get small enough to be mistaken for a star.

The biggest naked eye galaxy, angularly speaking, is the Large Magellanic Cloud, only visible from the Southern Hemisphere, and it takes up about 10 degrees of sky and is about 160,000 light years away.  For comparison the Sun and Moon only take up about half a degree.  The largest naked eye galaxy, just size wise, is our closest mature neighbor, Andromeda, which takes up about 3 by 1 degrees, and is about 2.5 million light years away.

The three smallest naked eye galaxies are Centaurus A, Sculptor, and Messier 81, which are barely visible under the best conditions with perfect eyesight, and they each take up about 25 arc minutes at their widest, which is just bit smaller than the Sun in the sky, and they're all a bit over 10 million light years away.  Anything farther than that you'll never see without magnification.


Raoul Eaton: Wine Sipping Elitist: Hmmm, I think yes one could probably individually count and discern about 9,000 stars, but the fuzzy background of the clear night sky is more than 9,000 points of light. The fuzzy galaxy (pliedes?) that looks like Orion's Sword and descends from his belt? I can see that (with my glasses now) and know that it contains billions of stars, but can I discern them? No. A lot of "stars" are galaxies, so does that affect the count? Probably not, so whatever. Fark statistics

That is a nebula on Orion's belt.  It is much closer and smaller than any galaxy.  The fuzzy blue light you see in it is interstellar gas, not stars.  There are stars in it, in fact stars are forming in it, but they number in the hundreds, not billions.

The pleiades are something entirely different -- a cluster of stars a little over 400 ly away.


Thanks and cheers
 
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