Help Shape the Future of Space Exploration

Join The Planetary Society Now  arrow.png

Join our eNewsletter for updates & action alerts

    Please leave this field empty
Connect

Billions and Billions of Stars

Don Taylor

November 26, 2013

Billions and Billions of Stars

Carl Sagan's Cosmos TV series had such a profound effect on me with his easy style and great information. However, I probably wouldn't have watched it if it weren't for something that happened to me when I was young. My interest in space was piqued as a small child when we went to the Griffith Park Observatory. On the wall was a giant backlit photo of the Andromeda Galaxy m31. This totally blew me away. In 1958 my parents bought me a Gilbert telescope for Christmas complete with rickety stand and small star map. My dream was to see that galaxy though my scope. Many nights in my front yard viewing the spot on my star map brought no results in the light polluted LA area. Sadly, neither was an astronomy mentor available to explain this to me. My quest was forgotten for other things. Update to 1995. My 8 year old daughter was taking astronomy in grade school and asked me if I owned a telescope. Of course, into the storage and out comes my Gilbert 2.5" reflector telescope. We look at a bright object that had some weird dots near it. Well, I told her we needed to get another scope since this one appears bad. (The dots were Jupiters moons). Off to the store we went the next week end and bought a used 8" Dob. Still no Andromeda. So I joined our local astronomy club and the world was opened to me and my daughter. We went to a star party at 7000' with dark skies when it happened. A little boys dream came true. Andromeda. Not through a scope but with my naked eye, then a scope and binoculars. I felt my life was complete. Next thing you know I have a 10" SCT. Then a friend of mine and I built twin 22" Obsession style reflectors in my garage (thanks Kriege). Many happy nights of observing galaxy clusters and nebulae. Since then, we moved and I joined another club. My goal is to teach people astronomy and be the mentor to others that was missing in my life as a child. With new equipment, we can bring deep space objects to light polluted areas. This is my vision.

Comments:

Leave a Comment:

You must be logged in to submit a comment. Log in now.
Facebook Twitter Email RSS AddThis

Essential Advocacy

Our Advocacy Program provides each Society member a voice in the process.

Funding is critical. The more we have, the more effective we can be, translating into more missions, more science, and more exploration.

Donate

JOIN THE
PLANETARY SOCIETY

Beyond The Horizon, There's More To Explore!

Become a member of The Planetary Society and together we will create the future of space exploration.

Join Us

Space in Images

Pretty pictures and
awe-inspiring science.

See More

Join The Planetary Society

Let’s explore the cosmos together!

Become a Member

Connect With Us

Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and more…
Continue the conversation with our online community!