Friday, 11 September 2015

France. Milky Way gazing in St. Medard-la-Rochette, Creuse

The church of St. Medard-La-Rochette beneath the Milky Way
What a joy to go stargazing one night in the heart of rural Limousin with so little light pollution to spoil the spectacle.

Over the hilltop village of St. Medard-la-Rochette, the dark velvet sky seemed encrusted with tiny glistening diamonds. The Milky Way was so thick with stars, it resembled a smudge of chalk across a blackboard.

From the prominence on which the 11th century church stands, the sky felt at the end of our fingertips, as if we could reach up and pick one of the stars or pull the Plough across the heavens. Jupiter shimmered rainbow-coloured, seeming to dance back and forth like a kite tethered on a string. The longer we looked, the more the heavens seemed alive.  Nothing was static.  It was bewitching.

It was only, after an hour, as a jet fighter shrieked overhead, practising for a conflict real or imagined on our planet, that we become aware again of our feet on the earth.          
The Milky Way

All photos © Andrew Holman.

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