Updated: Nov 5, 2019
When we made our plans to move we had a long list of things that we were excited about, the reasons for the move.
The food, people, ocean, snorkeling coral reefs, fishing, the amazing natural beauty just to start. A new life surrounded by things we didn't grow up with and are familiar with, bonus. As we've moved along through this 4-month process of getting ready to go from one place and getting ready to arrive in a another, we've realized there is more to add to the list - what we'll be able to do and learn. More to be excited about.
One thing you'll notice if you travel from Charlotte to Roatán, or from any larger city or metro area, once the sun goes down, is how dark it is. Well, how dark it is except for the natural light of the moon and the stars.
There isn't a lot of development, electricity is a bit sparse around the island and not available in many places. It's also relatively expensive so people conserve. So there is limited man made light - which makes the night sky-show so much more incredible.
Where we are moving is darker still in terms of manmade light. We share a large bay with about 20 other people, most powered by solar panels. We have no electric run to our house at all - one of the reasons we fell in love with this place. Fully off the grid and solar powered.
We are on the even less developed "East End" of the island facing south. We have the islands highest elevation behind us as part of a national park, so at night...it's dark. The moon is incredible and does light up the ocean and the sky, and the stars are immeasurably beautiful and bountiful. Endless spots that almost look like you can touch them they are so bright.
Back here in Charlotte we've come to realize that looking at this incredible night sky is going to be something we will be doing constantly, so getting a book or two on astronomy as well as a telescope was added to our list.
We reached out online to friends and family and received great advise. I, Scott, sent an email out to my dad and uncles, all scientists in one form or another. I figured one of them would be able to point us in the right direction.
From the social media end we received great advise from Grant Baldwin, a long-time friend and photographer, whom it seems, is also an avid stargazer with a wealth of knowledge to share. From the dad-side an uncle, a Professor of Geology at Stoney Brook University, introduced us to a colleague and fellow professor, Dan M. Davis, who, it turns out, has co-authored a book on the subject. Can't get much better advice than that.
The book is now ordered, and his advice for what type of telescope to get lined right up with Grant. So that's on the way as well.
Can't wait to share what we see. Day time, and now, night.
We've got stars in our eyes!