Monday, January 28

Right place, right time

My daughter, Katie, gave us (but mainly Kirri and I!) a very smart telescope at Christmas. It's one of those big ones on a tripod with lots of knobs and dials and things. It's also quite solid and heavy which means once it's up it tends to stay where it is and it's been in my bedroom since then.

The window there has a cool view over the paddock and into the distance across trees and fields and, of course, the sky and stars at night. Every time Kirri's been here since, though, the sky has either been cloudy or the stars and, in particular the moon, have been out of sight somewhere and that's not out of sight in a cool 60s way but genuinely not visible out of that window.

Now, only half of the window actually opens and then only to 90º; so there's a pretty narrow chunk of sky that you can actually look at through the open window. I'm guessing it's about 1 or 2º. Tonight was just one extraordinary bit of luck: not only was the sky clear at about 6:30pm when Kirri just happened to look (having been dull grey all day before) but a pretty full-looking moon was there, right in the right place! Half an hour later and it was somewhere else that would have meant either looking through the glass of the other bit of the window or going outside which I think we agreed we'd think about when the temperature moved a bit higher than 0ºC.

So we got our first close up view of the moon which was brilliant. Kirri even managed to take a picture with his phone held up against the eyepiece which I'll put here when I get hold of it. I also may have managed to get some close-ups with the amazing zoom on my new camera if I discover that I managed to hold it from drooping on the tripod for long enough. I won't know about that until I get a new card reader, though, as my computer doesn't recognise the new type of card the camera uses. So, if they're any good, I'll add mine here too when I eventually get at them.

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