South West Turkey is blessed with clear, and dark if you move away from the town, night skies for most of the year which is ideal for watching celestial happenings. But how do we know what we are looking at?

Our clean air that is mostly free from light pollution means that we get to see many more stars and planets that we may otherwise see from other locations in Europe.

In fact get away from Fethiye and you will find some of the darkest skies in Europe.

But when we look up to the heavens how do we know what we are looking at?

Well help is on hand thanks to the internet.

The site here offers a fantastic free planetarium – a virtual map of the night skies.

First you’ll need to set your position correctly on the location map otherwise the sky map will be wrong. For Fethiye move the cursor on the world map until you get the //Location – Latitude 36N and Longitude 29E

Now move your mouse and click to move the sky and see what’s on show.

Of course the key to using the map to locate the stars and planets above you is to understand what direction you are looking to – North, East, South or West.

So make a note of the compass points either using a compass or by making a fixed point where the sun sets in relation to your viewing point (it sets in the West).

Don’t forget that the earth is always moving and so too will the sky – quicker than you might imagine. So, click on the // Reset time, from time to time, to get the latest map positions.

You can also change the date and time to see the skies for any time in history or the future.

Are You an Ipad or Iphone User?

If you one of these excellent devices then make sure you download the Sky Walk App. There is a charge for the download but the app provides a fantastic and interactive virtual view of the night sky that you can point and gaze with. It will even show you when satellites will pass over!

Whatever you you use have a great time viewing the night sky. Happy night sky viewing!

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