Saturday, October 1, 2011

Seeing Stars

   Last night as part of a Girl Scout overnight we had the great privilege of going to the college observatory.  Our sky guides were an astronomy student and a Physics professor.  They were so very  kind to the girls (who ranged in age from 5 - 15), answering all their questions, pointing out constellations with a laser pointer.  The piece de resistance  was getting to look through the telescope and see Jupiter and four of its moons: Io, Europa, Callisto and Ganamede.  We could see some of the striping on the planet - VERY COOL.
    After we had all seen this, and my troop of high schoolers were the only ones left, we had the treat of looking again - this time at the Pleiades.

Our student astronomer shifted the observatory dome and showed us the gorgeous open star cluster.  I have always fancied this constellation above the others - even as a child  I loved it, perhaps because I have so many of my own sisters.  When I saw them through the telescope - first at a wider view, and then with a tighter one, I was thrilled.  I actually tingled.  They are so beautiful and were so bright - it was a real gift to have had this opportunity.