A warm spot to look up

Thu, 03/20/2014 - 11:14

Winter is the best time to see the night sky and gaze upon the stars, according to the Phillips Science Education and Research Program. The colder temperatures dissipate most of the smog and keep the humidity down low, and there is also the extended dark nights that come with the season. Your house makes for a comfortable climate, but you can't really see the stars well from a stationary window with lights turning on and off in the room.
Stay warmIf you already have radiant heating systems in your house, then you know the benefits of installing them beneath your floors. They efficiently warm the ground, causing the heat to rise instead of pumping out warmed air that dissipates and cools quickly. You can also use radiant floors outside on your patio too. This provides you with a chance to get out of your home and look up into the night without shivering or fear of getting sick. You can set up your telescope and spend as long as you want finding constellations and planets.
Even with snow and ice on the ground, all you have to do is turn on your heated flooring and wait for it to thaw your tiny section of the outside world. Throw on a blanket and make some hot chocolate while you bide your time until it's ready. When you don't have to worry about nature ruining your self-guided tour of the cosmos, you can experience your hobby during its prime time.
Your own observatoryYou can take your stargazing further and create your own mini observatory right on your deck or in your garden. Inhabitat reports that with a geodisic dome you can maximize your space while also providing a layer of protection from outside forces like wind or rain. There is a clear covering for the rotunda as well as a shaded one for summer, ensuring you can behold the stars above on any kind of night while staying cool in the hot days.
Garden Igloo makes one of these half spheres that's resistant to the elements and made from recyclable materials, leaving a minimal negative effect on the environment around it. The dome provides a sort of greenhouse effect already and, coupled with radiant heat flooring, this enclosure can give you a climate resembling one of indoors, but leave you with a 360-degree angle of viewing outdoors. Whether you want to use it for a garden or as the stage for your astronomical viewing, with the right combination of sustainable and eco-friendly tools you can transform your yard to fit your hobbies and lifestyle.