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When I Was a Little Boy...

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The dust streamed from clenched fists on outstretched arms as I circled the yard just one more time. I was a jet. Soaring high on the imagination of a young boy. Just a little more, with a rocket ship, I could be in space. It was the 50's before Sputnik before Apollo before I grew up.

Well grow up I did and the next decade saw satellites circling the earth, Ohio University, Vietnam and Neil Alden Armstrong walking on the moon. It was also the time of Star Trek, science-fiction books, thinking, wondering about "out there". I remember climbing onto the roof to see the Northern Lights, those shimmering curtains of light uncommon for a cool Ohio night to many years ago. Then there was that unforgettable time when the meteors were streaking across the August sky like fireflies.

Well the days, years and decades flew by.... I was busy with the routines of every day life. My Work taking up most of my time, my wonderful wife and daughter taking up the rest. Well, not all of the rest. The little boy was still there and he needed to play.

I acquired a simple 60 mm "point and look" telescope and will always remember the excitement and awe of focusing on a "star" only to discover it was Saturn, rings and all. Shortly after that I purchased at a garage sale a Tasco 7TE-5, another 60 mm refractor but with Equatorial mount, more lenses, sun filter and projection screen. Seeing Sun spots was really "cool". Then there was the time at work, at lunch break, when the clouds parted just enough for me to see the eclipse of the sun reflected in a puddle of water. Another time while visiting friends in Southern Ohio we laid back on a hillside watching the earths shadow hide the moon till all the stars were bright pin points of light in a black sky. Years later that same moon, full on a clear blue morning was joined by the bright streak of a Perseid meteor, the only meteor I have seen in broad daylight.

Now I'm retired, and still the little boy is in there, curious as ever. I downloaded and installed the World Wide Telescope software and I find it a great way to learn the sky. After finding Uranus with the program I went out and actually saw that point of light with my Fathers old Tasco 7X50 binoculars. Of course Jupiter was close by showing off four of her moons.

Well I have been wanting to get a larger aperture scope to compliment my vintage Tasco and having a limited budget I've been checking the want ads and looking for sales. Then Black Friday gave me an opportunity I could not refuse, a 5 inch Celestron Powerseaker Telescope, equatorial mount and free shipping for well under a hundred dollars. Reading that the included eyepieces and barlo were a weak point, I also purchased a gently used celestron lens and filter kit here from a Cloudy Nights member. I have only used the scope once so far and the seeing that cold night was not that good so there is little I can say about it now. I did spot Jupiter and three of its moons and the Pleiades. But until the weather cooperates I'm doing my exploring with the internet and The World Wide Telescope program. It seens that little boy is never satisfied and I hope he never is.


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