Thursday, February 21, 2008


I wish I could describe just what it felt like to watch last night's eclipse. Sure, it was "just" lunar eclipse. The Moon wanders into the Earth's shadow and then it turns a reddish-brown color. No biggie. But to me, this one was extra-cool. First off, the sky was clear. Secondly, it was visible from my house, so I didn't have to wander outside in the -12C weather to get a good view of it. Lastly, the Moon had a little companion yesterday - Saturn.

I happen to be an astronomy buff. I own two telescopes. They're nothing fancy - just beginner telescopes - but they're good enough for backyard city astronomy. They sure came in handy last night. I used my larger telescope to view the moon. I cannot believe the level of detail that I could see. Just amazing. Even as the Moon passed into Earth's shadow, I could still make out the terrain. Breathtaking.

Ah, but the highlight of the evening was seeing Saturn. I used my smaller telescope for that, since the lower-magnification eyepiece on my larger telescope was very wide-angle, so the telescope made it appear too small and indistinguishable. I tried the higher-magnification eyepiece, but I had a hard time getting it into the field of view. On the smaller scope, however, I could actually make out that it was Saturn. It looked like a small yellow disk with two yellow "ears" sticking out at a 45-degree angle. Small as it looked, it was awesome.

I wish that I could've taken a picture of everything I saw - the Moon and Saturn alike. My descriptions definitely do the experience any justice. Hopefully by at least putting it down in writing, it keeps that memory alive, even if it's fleeting.

No comments: