View Full Version : A visit to an observatory

2008-Aug-24, 03:40 PM
My school's councilor had told me for a long time about his visits to an observatory near his house that is open on Saturday nights. (I can't say the name for privacy reasons, just that it's in New York) Unfortunately, it is not that close to my house, and traveling there takes about an hour.
After much begging and pleading, however, my parents finally took us there yesterday!
While waiting for it to get dark, we walked around the town and I bought a very cool space shuttle model in a toy store, complete with Spacelab, retractable landing gear and Canadarm. (But the SRBs don't separate from the ET.:mad:)
When it was sufficiently dark, we drove to the observatory itself, an old brick building that projected the feeling of a friendly grandmother's attic. A man showed us the computer and telescope that he was using to look for transiting extrasolar planets in a small shed-like building on the grounds- awesome!
Being a dark sky site, the views were stunning even with my naked eyes, but after climbing a set of rickety stairs to the dome, my family joined a group using the very good telescope up there. The guide showed us M13, Andromeda, Jupiter and the Dumbbell Nebula through the telescope and pointed them out in the sky with his (rocking) green laser pointer. All objects appeared beautiful and very clear.
As we drove home, everyone in the car was very glad that we had come.

2008-Aug-24, 04:00 PM
Awesome! I've lived downtown in a major city for years, so I hardly remember what the stars look like :cry: