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What's so amazing that keeps us stargazing?

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Aug. 6th, 2006 | 10:01 pm
location: the lake
mood: contentcontent


I just saw bands on Jupiter through my uncle's telescope, along with three of its moons. They pass as a flicker through atmospheric pollution, but they're there, again and again. And even though I've certainly seen much better pictures of Jupiter and its colored bands and its big red spot, I found it inexplicably thrilling to see the bands, however faint, with my own eyes. I had the same experience when we looked at Saturn and its rings when I was maybe 10 or so. It seemed like nothing, like no big deal, until I actually saw it. Like somehow, seeing something with my eyes makes it more tangible, something that isn't just a distant legend that I've read about.

There are so many things that I forget that I love, and how deeply I love them until I come face to face with them once again. Living in New York especially, but also Berkeley, there is so much light pollution on a regular basis that I forget how cool astronomy really is; what it's like to just sit quietly and stare up at the sky tracing constellations and galaxies.

Later, we will look at Andromeda.

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Ping

Oh, stars!

from: zestyping
date: Aug. 7th, 2006 07:30 am (UTC)
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I love stars. I still remember the time i set up my little reflector telescope in the driveway in front of my house in Winnipeg and found Jupiter. Previously all the attempts to use the telescope had been less exciting: i could aim at the moon, but it was hard to get the telescope properly pointed at anything else, because the small finder scope on the side was poorly aligned, and the tilt and focus knobs would all seize up in the cold of the Winnipeg nighttime.

But this time — this one time, i found Jupiter. And saw its moons. They were real! It's nothing like seeing a printed photo in a textbook.

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