The stars and planets
December 10, 2012
When I was young (I am much older now) I received a telescope as a gift. It was a small newtonian telescope, cardboard tube, made by Gilbert I think, and it had a clamp for attaching to a fence or similar object. I was in Texas. I set it up and clumsily scanned the skies. I found a planet, Saturn! It made me feel so small and yet important to see it. I became an occasional but enthusiastic astronomer. Life goes on, and years later, while living in Alaska, I ordered a 6-inch newtonian telescope. When I receive it, I was excited and put all the parts and counter weights together and took it outside in an open field. I didn't do any homework or research about where to point it, but I aimed the telescope at the first interesting object that rose over the mountain near me. It was Saturn! I was home again... I've been a member of the Planetary Society for many years, and I also belong to Lowell Observatory. I will always nuture a passion for space. Life is short, but space goes on forever.
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.