"She refused to be bored, chiefly because she wasn't boring." Zelda Fitzgerald

Friday, April 30, 2010

Romantic Stargazing

Tonight A took me out for a date I forgot we even had scheduled, a night at the local astronomical observatory together. I sure did think of my brother-in-law, Doubleddog's husband, who is quite the night sky nut. I know he would have loved to be there with us, peeking through that giant telescope at all the twinkles in the dark.

It was a great date. Never mind that I forgot entirely about our plans and never did pack the  goods the boys needed (pajamas, toys, snacks, diapers for nighttime) for the drop-off at their sitters and who really cared that it totally slipped my mind to remember to make us a picnic dinner so that we wouldn't starve. We happened on a super cute little taqueria and had amazing tacos de bistec and camerones and all regrets vanished. Too bad the lengue was still in the pressure cooker and wasn't available for tacos yet. We'll have to go back.

At the observatory we were instructed carefully which eye-piece to look through and told that touching the telescope in any way was absolutely verbotten. Hazard of working with very sensative instruments, I guess. This super cute grandpa astronomer was manning scope tonight and walked us through peeking at Mars, Saturn (cool view of the rings tonight along with four of its moons!) and one pair of twin stars. Never really heard of twin stars before (stars that orbit each other quite closely) and wouldn't have ever known it was Mars I was seeing without being told so but, Saturn was stinking cool and pretty obvious. It looked like a cocktail olive...skewered by its rings, running straight up and down tonight and then the glittering sprinkle of its four moons on either end of the toothpick. Grandpa Astronomer told us that the brightest glitter speck was Titan.
Love the last line of this note by the observatory doorbell.

After we enjoyed the scope and chatted for a bit, we went out on the observatory deck and sat back in the warm spring air to gaze at the mixture of plane lights from La Guardia and stars. We can see more stars here than I thought and I even managed to find the Big Dipper. (Don't laugh....I stink at finding constellations and can normally only locate Orion and the Pleiades) Good fun to mix it up a little and try paying attention to a different part of nature that we normally don't spend a lot of time on as a couple. I'm pretty Earth focused and macro focused even within earthbound nature experience but, its good to remember that there's a lot more out there still.


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