Thursday, March 13, 2008

M-O-O-N, that spells "moon"!

So, for my dearly beloved's Christmas-NewYear-Valentine-StPatricksDay-MemorialDay-Anniversary-Birthday present, I bought him a telescope. He had one in high school, and lamented its loss in a car fire on many occasions. Now that we live out in the country, we can actually see stars on clear nights. We can even - given excellent viewing conditions - see the Milky Way. So I bought him an Orion SpaceProbe 130ST EQ, a Newtonian reflector with an equatorial mount, along with a Barlow lens and a moon filter.

And of course, for the ENTIRE week after it arrived, it was cloudy. Every. Single. Night. But since then, even in 25 degree weather, he's been out there, figuring out the tricks to finding cool stuff in space.

I've seen Saturn, in person, as it were, and last night with the waxing crescent moon I got a good look at the Sea of Tranquility and the crater named Theophilus. (I wish I could say we took these photos, but we didn't. I found them online and they roughly approximate what we've seen!) I've been thoroughly enjoying standing (or lounging) out in the back field, looking into the heavens with just my eyeballs and learning the patterns to the stars, and the constellations, and how objects move over time.

It's something the philosopher and I can spend years doing together, so I'm looking forward to our astronomical pursuits. As he gets better with the complicated alignment and adjustment system on the 'scope, then he can teach me! We're also hoping to hook into a (relatively local) astronomy club. Hmm. I wonder how many amateur-astronomer-philosophers there are?

1 comment:

AvocadoDiva said...

oh wow! Matt will be so jealous. :-) That's awesome!! I hope you get many nights together stargazing at the beautiful heavens.