Starry, Starry Night !
Robert E Kroesser
December 7, 2012
When I was 10 years old, we moved to the country part of our town. Across the street from our house was a vacated house and an abandoned orchard. A girl named Tammy, who lived down the road from us, told my brother and I about the orchard. The house was quite a bit off the road, and the orchard was located about a quarter mile down a dirt road. One day in late November (Hingham, MA), about a month after we moved to our new home, my brother and I walked down the dirt road and came upon the orchard. You could tell that there had been fruit everywhere; apples, raspberries, grapes... We looked around for awhile and just as we were about to leave, I noticed a large hill to the north of us, about 2 hundred yards away. We walked over to the hill and climbed to the top. The view was wonderful. Mostly woods, but scenic it was. I thought to myself that it would be fantastic to come back at night, lay on my back at the top of the hill, and see if I could see some "shooting Stars" and the constellation Orion. I read about constellations in a science book in the library. A week later (bundled up) I climbed back up that hill at night (I did carry a flashlight, but I was scarred !). I saw several meteorites and the Orion Constellation. I made that trip back up that hill several times thereafter. From those moments on, I have been an enthusiastic space advocate.
An asteroid or comet headed for Earth is the only large-scale natural disaster we can prevent. Working together to fund our Shoemaker NEO Grants for astronomers, we can help save the world.