The moon

I took the new telescope into the backyard just now. It wasn’t 100% dark, but it was dark enough. I still need to learn how to work it properly, align it correctly, etc. But I pointed it at the half-moon or so that was up there and even with the low-power lens, all I could say was, “Oh my god!” What rich detail. You could see the shadows in the craters, the razor-thin sharpness of the terminator line. It was amazing!

I also pointed it at a bright star in the southern sky (I used to know all of this stuff when I was 7 years old; it will take some time to catch up again). I thought it might have been a planet, but it was, in fact a star. I brilliant white point of light. It’s a little cool out and I didn’t want to stay out too long. I also noted Orion to the southwest, and was tempted to point the telescope at the double-star in the center of the belt: Mizar and Alcor. I can remember as a 7-year old, discovering these two stars with my Dad. I think that was the first time I’d ever seen a “double” star system.

I can tell I’m going to have a lot of fun with this. Eventually, I’ll have to catch up on general astronomy. While I do keep up with SCIENTIFIC AMERICAN, most of my astronomy education came from reading The Nine Planets over and over again when I was in 1st grade. The rest of it came from Isaac Asimov’s F&SF science essay collections. I can’t wait to dig into it again!

About Jamie Todd Rubin

Jamie Todd Rubin writes fiction and nonfiction for a variety of publications including Analog, Clarkesworld, The Daily Beast, 99U, Daily Science Fiction, Lightspeed, InterGalactic Medicine Show, and several anthologies. He was featured in Lifehacker’s How I Work series. He has been blogging since 2005. By day, he manages software projects and occasionally writes code. He lives in Arlington, Virginia with his wife and three children. Find him on Twitter at @jamietr.