THE ASTRONOMICAL NIGHT
During dinner at the refuge, interspersed with its unavoidable break to watch the sunset, we will also try to observe the green ray and the anti-twilit arch.
Once the night is well settled, finally comes the moment to observe the sky and its objects.
First with a laser to locate the main constellations and some features of the night landscape visible from the observatory, such as the lighthouses of Porquerolles and Saint-Tropez. Then we will finally go under the dome to observe through the telescope planets, nebulae, globular clusters, planetary nebulae, double stars and galaxies, as well as the Moon if it is present.
To observe the sky is to see so far that we look back in time and contemplate the past.
To observe the sky is also trying to understand the history of the universe and its evolution, to apprehend its size and its immensity, its matter and its composition ; it is to project oneself mentally away from the Earth and the solar system to become aware of our place in our galaxy... and beyond.
We will continue the evening as long as your motivation is present :-)
All the images of celestial objects that you see here were made with the Chiran telescope.
During the observation, since a few years, we are punctuated, at envy, the evening with musical interludes, thanks to many musical instruments present under the dome.
This year, Tiphaine joins astronomy and myself to bring her musical inspirations.
I'll let her talk to you about it.
An evening of astronomical observation carried up by notes of musical instruments, curious visitors can question Joseph and look in the telescope, while being carried up by improvised sounds, in the cupola with its particular acoustics.
Between the piano, singing, the guitars or the astonishing oscillations of the theremin, all connected to three effect pedals, the sensation of astronomical immensity can become palpable. This can help to reinforce the awareness of the expulsion of energies from colossal objects at unimaginable scales, in the outer space.
This is what we propose right now during our evenings at the observatory, an alliance between the understanding of the sky and immersive music.
Far from intentionally covering the passionate speech of Joseph the astronomer, my music and my singing simply complete, with a different dose every other night, the words of the latter, to even end up illustrating the various spatial events that he described as and when.
Of course, musical instruments under the dome are also at your disposal, and spontaneous musical participations are always welcome.
During the astronomy evening, do not hesitate to improvise or play some tunes.
A few words about the musical full Moons
In the full moon weeks, the observation of the sky is strongly limited by the important lunar light.
Indeed, the three days before and after the full Moon can see little more objects than the planets and the Moon of course, but contrary to what one might think, not in its best light.
The objects of the deep sky (nebulae, galaxies, planetary nebulae, globular clusters, and other remnants of supernovae ...), they are drowned in the important light that returns to us our natural satellite.
So, from this year on, we have chosen to use these astronomical weeks to offer nocturnal concerts in the open air or under the dome.
Numerous performances are on the way for the next summer weeks of clear nights, where music will occupy a preponderant place. We invite you to live the unique experience of an encounter with professional musicians, at the top of our mountain of almost 2000 meters, under a vast sky lit by the Moon. Go to the Full Moons to Music section on this site for more information.
Of course, the rest of the time, astronomy remains our mainspring.