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Looking to the stars

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By Kirsten Laskey

Editor’s Note: This is a personal account of the Star Gazing on the Preserve event.

At first the sky over the caldera was empty, except for a good-size wedge of the moon, which illuminated a pearl-gray light. But as the sky darken, it seemed as though a curtain was pulled back to the infinite amount of wonders the heavens contain.

For those of us participating in the Star Gazing on the Preserve event, a handful of these features were seen in a closer view.

Astronomers Scott Watson and James Maxwell provided their own equipment for the event, which included two types of telescopes. One was the conventional-looking telescope, and the other was larger and shaped like a cannon.

Using the smaller telescope, we first got to look at the moon; one half of it was light up while its remaining surface was hidden in blackness. The dividing line between the two sides highlighted the moon’s craters and ridges.

As the telescopes moved deeper into the sky, we viewed many other things in space including the faint gray bands on Jupiter, a globular cluster that appeared like a snowflake and a blue star that seemed to contained diamonds within diamonds.


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