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The Moon Through Binoculars
The Moon Through Binoculars

My most memorable astronomy moment was my first. My wife will wonder why it was not the first time we looked at the moons of Jupiter together, on the front porch of our first apartment, before we were even married. My children, when they read this, will wonder why it was not the first time I helped them to look at the Orion Nebula, while standing on a milk crate to reach the eyepiece. I remember these moments very vividly, and I will no doubt carry them with me, all of my life. However, the one memory that stands out more than these will forever be the first time I looked at the Moon with my father's binoculars. I was never the same again. I was ten, and the large full moon had risen in the summer sky. My dad had his truck parked outside of the garage, and I was playing in it. He had left his hunting binoculars in the seat, and I had taken them into the bed of the old Chevrolet and had begun scanning the horizon for enemy fighters, invading aliens or the neighbor's cows. Then for reasons I do not remember, I trained them on the moon. Craters! I could see craters, and mountains and hills, and patches of light and dark, and things I did not understand. I was astounded. Why had no one shown this to me before? How was it, I had not been told that with these wonderful binoculars, you could actually see craters? I called to my dad, who was working on something forgotten in the garage. I yelled at him to tell him what I was seeing, and he said something encouraging back, but I don't remember what it was. If I could see the moon like this, I wondered what else lay under the surface of the sky that I had not been made privy to yet. I turned the binoculars up and almost directly over my head into the Milky Way. Stars too numerous to fathom speed by, so I lay on my back on the cold metal of the truck bed and aimed the glasses up at infinity, and became lost in what I was absolutely sure was my new favorite thing to do. For the life of me, I could not understand why everyone in the world did not look a t the sky with a telescope, binoculars, or just their eyes. I had been missing this, but no more. It would get away from me never again. My imagination was ignited, and the way I looked at creation had been forever changed. And so a great love affair was begun. One I would try to share with everyone close to me, and one I still share with those closest to me. So while there are many, many wonderful moments that have come since under the night sky, the one I remember most, without a doubt was my first.

Date Taken: 07/05/2011
Author: Josh C

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