On the day this article is published, it will be exactly one month until the day of the 2017 North American Solar Eclipse; an event that is expected to cause tens of millions of people to stop what they are doing and turn their eyes (properly protected, it is hoped) skyward to witness one of […]
Musings and observations on various and sundry topics.
My dear Galileo,
Each evening for weeks now I have carried my telescope to the top of a nearby hill and pointed its 70mm objective lens toward the clearly visible bright dot in the sky that I have learned to identify as Jupiter. Bringing it into focus, its 17.5x magnification – more than your early 8x model but less than your eventual 20x one – shows me clearly that what I am seeing is not a star but a planet; a planet with tiny illuminated dots seemingly nearby it.
My dear Galileo,
After many years of observing and investigating things on the Earth, I have taken it into my mind also now to begin looking at the heavens to learn what is to be seen there as well. As I am but a novice in this, I knew I must find a teacher. I hope you will not mind if I look to you and your discoveries as such.
As luck would have it, the grade school I attended had just that year reduced its size from a kindergarten through sixth grade school to a kindergarten through fourth grade school as the result of a then new “middle school” being opened as part of a nineteen-seventies progressive restructuring that took in the fifth and sixth grade students from our grade school as well as two other grade schools in the area. As a result of this, my school ended up with a number of no longer needed classrooms – one of which was a biology lab.