Look Out Any Window

Over my extended Thankgiving weekend I took some time to look through my telescope at the moon. I saw the full moon rising in the east-northeast and thought it would be a good night for a look, so I set up my Meade reflecting telescope in the kitchen and aimed it toward the window.

Contrail over the moon. Taken through 114mm reflector telescope.
Contrail over the moon. Through 114mm reflector telescope. © Drew Vics

The moon had risen higher and the sky was darkening. The darker it became the more detail I was able to see.

There I was, a Saturday night, standing in my kitchen enjoying one of my home brewed beers and occasionally taking a peak through the eyepiece. I had calibrated the telescope, and after a few simple selections on the hand-held control unit the scope swung around on it’s motorized mount and aligned on the moon, then continued to track our celestial neighbor. All I had to do was enjoy the view.

I decided to take some digital photos of the moon by simply holding the camera up to the eyepiece and carefully aiming before pressing the shutter release. Some of the pictures turned out pretty nice. It’s great to be able to enjoy the result so quickly, that’s the magic of digital photography. It’s convenient too, because if I took one I didn’t like I could just delete it.

I’m glad I picked up the camera, because during one look through the telescope I spotted an airplane zipping across the bright face of the moon, in perfect silouhette. I brought the camera up to the eyepiece to capture the scene but unfortunately I missed the plane, though the contrail remained as evidence of what I had witnessed (see photo above).

As I continued to monitor the moon I was hoping another plane would pass by, but none ever showed. I did see a formation of geese fly across the silvery orb, but I didn’t get my camera to the eyepiece in time.

It’s amazing what we can see if we stick around long enough and have a little patience. We can apply that to life too. If we careen blindly through life like an asteroid we often miss the neat stuff. The things that make us wonder in awe. Stand on top of a mountain and see how big the world is. Peer through a telescope and see the craters on the moon. I imagine an asteroid has a pretty great view from out there, if indeed it could see.

Life’s a journey, so enjoy it. Look out any window. I love windows.