"Now you know the rest of the story"
Posted 23 March 2009 - 11:52 AM
A Night with the Trio in Leo
(If you have slow internet, this is about 60K)
Our evening began with setup for a family...single Dad and three kids. The oldest teenage boy was slammed with a car about 2 years ago. He was on a bike. The impact nearly killed him. Now his motor skills are just barely returning; he cannot talk; needs help eating and moving; therapy and doctors are now part of his regular life. We watched his sister and brother take painstaking care of him while we got through a meal, conversation, setup of telescopes, etc. His young brother is a 6th grader studying planets and stars; he loves his older brother who is also sharp but is imprisoned in his battered body. Both wanted to see the telescopes and some sky objects...for the first time. Dad loves them all but also shows the wear and tear of the last two years. He also wanted to see the heavens. It is the first time they had been out as a family in months.
We setup a 4 inch refractor (talking all the time), ate (answering questions nearly all the time), and sauntered out as early as we could to see Polaris, align the scopes, and get Orion in view. Each took their time looking at the nebula then the two children and Dad helped their brother get his head to the eye piece.
Then we took all 4 to the sky shed where Frank, Carlos, Erika, Richard Handy, and our sketches grace the walls. We explained how we teach observing...even for handicapped people, children, or the elderly...and how it helps us actually see and object rather than so quickly forget it.
Then we hooked up the astro video to the same equipment and saw Orion explode in color. I explained details of the cloud folds and color and shadow...all developed from sketching the object a dozen times. When they left, Linda and I gave them our chalk talk M42 sketch on wallboard as a reminder (3 foot x 4 foot pastel sketch). They had a gleam in their eyes. The injured boy payed attention and mentally stayed with the whole event, so I know the time registered.
It got quiet. Thinking about the whole evening and giving thanks at the same time, I swung to the Trio and did a pencil sketch with optics then a pastel sketch using astro video (all with the 4 inch refractor set up).
With a bit of renewed vigor, I am thankful, but especially for the family's visit. Their profuse thanks was a testimony that what they really did was to bless us.
So that is "the rest of the story".
Posted 23 March 2009 - 04:13 PM
A wonderful observation of the Leo Triplet. You have captured a wealth of detail. Thank you for sharing it with us all.
The beauty of the universe is for all of God's children. I hope that the young men you spoke of continue to enjoy it's beauty for a lifetime.
Posted 23 March 2009 - 08:24 PM
Posted 23 March 2009 - 08:56 PM
The struggle back from the tragic accident capped by views of the universe, creates a feeling of eternal hope and peace and lessons for us all about life.
NGC 3628 in this trio really looks most impressive in your color sketch. Both of these composite sketches are impressive.
Posted 24 March 2009 - 07:15 PM
Posted 26 March 2009 - 11:43 AM
Posted 26 March 2009 - 08:01 PM