Summer night sky in Patag-A A +A
As I See It
Friday, February 22, 2013
THE breeze is almost telling us that dry season is on its way. It is cold before sunrise but as the day progresses, we feel the scorching heat of the sun. The sun is sending out a stream of invisible specks, termed as particles, into space. This is called the solar wind.
Silay City has prepared a tourism outdoor program for nature lovers who fancy what nature can offer. That could be the reason why our rest and recreation area in Barangay Patag is almost fully booked. Those who have been in Patag have befriended the farmers and would prefer to live with them if there is no more space available in SORETA (Silay Outdoor Recreation Eco-Tourism Area). The farmers can always provide them ‘bed and breakfast’ the Patag way. There are always fresh vegetables, root crops and native chicken to whet the appetite of the lowlanders who want to evade the curse of urban areas.
We always have the waterfalls to trek to those who have strong knees and brave hearts. The ‘Tinagong Dagat’ and the ‘Sulfatara Daku’ are still big challenges waiting for the conquerors of the North Negros Forest. Our mountain guides can always show you the way. The ‘alimatoks’ of the forest are always ready for their love bites like a mother sucker. We advise the wanderers to bring with them their binoculars. Different species of birds are manifesting on the topmost twig of lawaan, almaciga or Negros pine tree. Don’t be scared to see shy monkeys having a show on vines near the cliff without Tarzan and Jane. Some who do not love to try their luck in deceiving trails would prefer to stay at SORETA to see the night sky (if the clouds won’t cover the heavenly bodies).
There is a lot to see if you know what to look for. Take a look at the Spinal galaxy or the Milky Way appearing like star dust; or take a view of Hyades (star cluster). Guess where the old star is. This one is called the Betelgeuse. Don’t forget the group of stars often featured in the movie, ‘Men in Black’. It is the Orion. The brightest star in the sky is called Sirius. These stars could be seen with your naked eyes.
The moon always takes center stage. Most of the time you can see it glowing brightly in the darkness because it is lit up by the light from the sun. If you are a moon lover, it’s fun to know the phases of the moon. It is impossible to see the new moon. It is totally covered by the dark shadow of the earth. The waxing moon forms a crescent, gradually a sliver of light returns. Full moon occurs once every 28 days. All of one side of the moon is lit by the sun’s light. Mt. Silay and the Mandalagan Mountain Range boast their curves against the proud moon. The waning moon is mystic. As it moves in its orbit, less light falls on it. It seems to shrink.
A clear night sky serves as a silver screen. It is loaded with stars. There are specific patterns that you can enjoy. These patterns are the constellations and there are 88 altogether. The Orion looks like a hunter with a sword, shield and club.
I could very well remember the star girl scouts (most of them Grade III pupils) asking me question, “Tito Ver, is there milk in the Milky Way?” I could hardly pick up a convincing answer. “The Milky Way looks like a thick band of faint stars splashed across the sky like spilled milk”. There was no follow-up question but they were looking at each other like puzzled chickens.
Enjoy the night sky in Patag. Bring your binoculars and through the eyepieces you will have a great time for sky watching. See star clusters and find mountains, craters and the flat seas of the moon. You might see friendly aliens having a honeymoon.
Published in the Sun.Star Bacolod newspaper on February 22, 2013.