Hubby and I started off with this hobby recently by enrolling into an astronomy club. Thankfully, we both love science and astronomy and hence it is just awesome fun. Attended couple of talks and hubby ended up buying another telescope for himself. I already had one.We bought another reflector, this one bigger than the old one that I had.
We attended a solar gazing day when I first had a look at sun spots and solar flares. I had never seen them before through my naked eyes. I had always seen them on the TV or internet. It was just amazing to see those spots vanishing and appearing or even moving. Solar flares were even more amazing to look at. I resolved to make my daughter or son an astronomer 😛 Even if he/she hates astronomy, he/she has to become a scientist atleast for his/her parents’ sake 😀 lol. I want to next buy a solar telescope soon.
Night gazing was even better as we got to see Saturn for the first time. I could never ever focus well on planets earlier. But now that I have a best friend (hubby) for company, we did lot of hard work and finally saw Saturn’s rings on our telescope. It really counts as one of the happiest moments in my life. After Saturn, we saw Mars. But compared to Saturn, every other planet looks so ordinary and bahh. For the first time in my life, I saw binary stars. Never even imagined that I would be able to see one directly. Also got to see Ring Nebula (my first nebula ever). Compared to these things, seeing some constellations or star clusters wasn’t that great. All these were possible thanks to the friend that my hubby made at the club.
An old lady and her husband are probably oldest members of the club. For some reason, she took liking towards hubby and they have kind of become buddies now. She helped us spot many of the things that we saw and we learnt a lot from her. She has been star gazing ever since she was a small kid and she can spot objects in a minute. She unfortunately doesn’t have kids, in order to pass on her acquired knowledge.
We have been liking everyone at the club. People are so friendly and nice. They encourage you, even though you are a newbie. I am not new to star gazing, but hubby is. But he is much better at focusing objects than I am 😛 But I have the knowledge about various filters etc. We bought the largest magnification eyepiece possible and yesterday saw the best view of moon I ever saw in my life. We could spot each and every crater so perfectly. We spent almost an hour gazing at the moon, which was too bright yesterday. And today morning I woke up to see the sad news about Neil Armstrong’s death 😦 A very sad news!
Some people think that the bigger the scope is, the better the magnification will be. Sigh! Wish more people knew difference between reflector and refractor scopes. A person who was standing next to us had a bigger scope than we had. But his was refractor and ours was a reflector. Which definitely meant that, we had a better magnification (thanks to the costly lens we bought). But some Indians who had come thought other way and actually said that. I was kinda furious though.
Let’s just hope we get to spot more interesting objects in the sky and someday become experts like the granny friend of ours. I want to see more nebulae, Andromeda galaxy (which is supposed to be difficult to spot) and many more multiple stars. I am sure this hobby is not for everyone. I remember a friend asking me “don’t you get bored trying to spot objects in the sky?”. I was really too surprised to even answer. “Bored”? really? has he ever looked at the sky through a telescope? has he looked at how beautiful the moon looks through the telescope? Those beautiful objects in the sky amaze me too much and probably I don’t have time to get bored 😛
Try looking through a telescope guys. I am sure you will not repent. The sky is really really beautiful. I want to get into astro-imaging very soon. It looks like a tough job but I am sure I will love it. 🙂