It wasn’t a very good weekend in this are for 100 Hours of Astronomy. But Sunday night it cleared up, and I packed the old white telescope into the old white Honda and headed downtown. Or should I say ‘ghost town’? For a while my first visitor was a cat. She was wary of me, paused, and then moved on.
I moved the scope down the street and parked it in front of Main Moon Chinese Restaurant. Given that the moon was out, I thought that was fitting. Here’s my scope and the restaurant:
I showed the moon and Saturn, and it’s four easily visible moons to about 7 people. Two young ladies who were delivering food for Main Moon, one customer who was waiting, a nice man who just passed by, and Kevin, the owner of Main Moon and one of his staff. Everyone enjoyed it. I could barely pick out the brightest stars because of all the glare. My house is just a mile away and the sky is actually pretty dark, but all the round globe streetlights downtown throw orange light up and out–not down on the ground which is where I guess people should really want it. Anyway, young astronomers downtown would be excused for thinking that the night sky is made up of the moon and a handful of bright “stars,” most of which are actually planets. Hmmm, maybe Geneva needs a dark sky ordinance?
Anyway, I took a few images of the moon through the eyepiece. This is just holding my Canon DSLR up to the eyepiece. I should get an adapter to mount the camera there, I might have better results, although these are not so bad:
Astronomers who love to observe the moon sometimes jokingly refer to themselves as “lunatics”. However, their etymology is pretty accurate:
a mentally ill person (not in technical use).
ORIGIN Middle English : from Old French lunatique, from late Latin lunaticus, from Latin luna ‘moon’ (from the belief that changes of the moon caused intermittent insanity).
Unfortunately, I remember from my time in Washington DC that most of the homeless around Dupont Circle had outpatient hospital wrist-bracelets on, and most of them seemed schizophrenic. It’s a shame that our mentally ill are too often left to sleep under the moonlight that was once thought to be the cause of their maladies. Just a little thought.