Sunday, July 22, 2018

f-stop: Sharing The Skies

The 8-day-old Gibbous Moon

Another very nice evening of "sidewalking" on the shore at Marathi; I had two dozen members-of-the-public join me to explore Luna, Jupiter, Saturn and double star Albireo. The little Mak is getting quite a work-out on this deployment, but the time for a rest is not yet here--we have the lunar eclipse coming up on the evening of the 27th, after all!

This, for me, is what it's all about. I don't go to the effort of toting a telescope on these cruises in hopes of carrying-out observations of galaxies or comets. (There is usually far too much light pollution in port areas and cities I visit for "serious" observing) I bring the optics along in order to share the planets and Moon with people I meet along the way.

This is a large part of my enjoyment and love of astronomy; the act of introducing strangers to the greater Universe around them is just as powerful and rewarding an experience as exploring the skies alone. I like--need--to share this sense of wonder with others. Call it Tom's addiction.

Photo: crewmembers from Spanish frigate 'Numancia'--our neighbors on the next pier over--join me to enjoy the satellites and cloud bands of Jupiter. Next stop--Saturn!

'Jupiter' es 'Yupiter' en Española!

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