We drove into Houston today. Well, not Houston exactly, Hempstead, but we continue on to Houston tomorrow. Tonight we are staying with Quinton’s mother. They live an hour outside of Houston and away from the city on a street where you would have to shout to talk to your neighbor a good basketball court to football field apart from one another.
What I enjoy doing most nights we stay is stargazing. First of all, simply being away from the light pollution of the city you can already see more stars than the clearest night usually has to offer. However, Keith, His mother’s husband, has an excellent telescope. As an amateur astronomer he has the latest gadgets and trivia knowledge of the heavens and if a celestial event is occurring I can always count on seeing the telescope mounted in the yard as we drive up.
Tonight there was no telescope but Darrin, Quinton’s mother, did have some very large, very powerful binoculars. I was skeptical at first, but they blew me away. Not only could we clearly see constellations, but Saturn was visible this evening and you could actually see the ring looking through the binoculars! Now that’s powerful. We also turned our attention to a very bright moon this evening and I was in awe at my ability to see the shading, shadowing and many indentations of the surface. I was able to count craters and could have made out several more features if it had not been so bright that it actually hurt my eyes a little to gaze at it’s waxing surface.
I remember looking out through my sorry version of a telescope when I was a child and wishing to be an astronomer. I am sad that I have let that passion die somewhere along the way. But there’s no better time to pick up a hobby as awesome as this one than now…