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Astronomy

My interest in astronomy began one late summer evening in 1964 at Camp Willabay in Williams Bay in Lake Geneva, Wisconsin. It was late August, meteor shower time, and in just few weeks I would begin my four years at Ridgewood High School in Norridge, Illinois. While we lay on our backs on the late, comfortably warm summer evening, a visiting astronomer from the nearby Yerkes Observatory gave a sky talk and set up a refracting telescope on a tripod which everyone was anxious to get a a look-through. The talk ended and the astronomer said we were lucky that Saturn was in a good position for viewing. I’ll never forget that first look through a telescope. There was Saturn, smaller than I expected in the eyepiece, but perfectly formed, its rings sharply visible and nicely framed by the surrounding black Wisconsin night sky. I don’t know why I waited until I was 48 years old to finally buy my own telescope. Its been 12 years now since I bought my first scope—a 10″ Meade LX-200—and while I don’t get under a dark sky often enough, but when I do, that 14 year old’s same sense of awe and wonder return.

The so-called Flammarion engraving - a wood engraving by an unknown artist, so named because its first documented appearance is in Camille Flammarion's 1888 book L'atmosphère: météorologie populaire. (Wikipedia)

The Flammarion Engraving.
(click for larger image)

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