Stargazing could easily be considered one of the major ‘sports’ during these pandemic times that we’re all facing. The vault of the night sky is always willing to uncover for us its secrets, even if we admire it with the naked eye.
Surely not any place from Earth is suitable as a seat for the celestial show that unfolds before our eyes every night if there are no clouds to hinder our view. But even for the clearest skies, there’s still turbulence in the atmosphere that will make stars twinkle. An international team of scientists is telling us about the perfect spot for watching stars dancing on the night sky in all their glory.
The perfect spot: Antarctica
Researchers from the University of New South Wales claim that Antarctica has the least turbulence that causes light provided by stars to bend as it hits the Earth’s surface. A Chinese-led scientific team built a system of telescopes named Dome A in Antarctica, and they had been observing the frozen environment for a decade.
“After a decade of indirect evidence and theoretical reasoning, we finally have direct observational proof of the extraordinarily good conditions at Dome A,” says a university statement made by UNSW Professor Michael Ashley.
“Dome A is the highest point in the central plateau region of Antarctica, and the atmosphere is extremely stable here, much more so than anywhere else on Earth,” he continues to say. “The result is that the twinkling of the stars is greatly reduced, and the star images are much sharper and brighter.”
Astrophysicists believe that most of the chemical elements from our bodies like hydrogen, carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, zinc, iron, calcium, and so on – were created within the nuclear furnaces of stars. If it’s true, it means that we’re all literally stardust. After becoming supernovas and therefore exploding, the stars released all those chemical elements into the atmosphere. The elements were further gathered by gravity to form planets. All of the chemical elements from our bodies can be found in the soil. The stars literally had to die in order to allow our existence to be possible.