Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Steven Stargazes

I was looking forward to a week which had less structure, but... I think we need structure. Otherwise nothing gets done. If I have it on the calendar, we do it; if I don't, we don't. Or rather, we get it done slower and more grudgingly.

Yesterday was not the easiest day to work at the shop and homeschool, but we managed. Steven worked on handwriting and math. He also put together his Galileoscope with his Uncle Rob.

Robert is an amateur astronomer who has built several of his own telescopes, so I thought this would be a piece of cake for him, which it was.

We went out last evening and found Jupiter in the eastern night sky right where Rob said it would be. There were several problems, however; the first being that we didn't have a tripod so it made the telescope difficult to hold in one place and we are all naturally a little shaky so it was hard to keep any star or planet in sight. The other thing is there was a lot of atmospheric interference, so we couldn't see any real details. Then, ofcourse, town's ambient light is a pain in the ass.

Robert lives in a rural area, has a reflector telescope and a shed that he built for it at the back of his property. I asked him to let us come out there for an evening of sky watching so Steven can get a real understanding of what can be seen. He agreed, ofcourse :). Hoping that we can go next week or the week after. We also are going to the local Observatory in November. I'd already planned to take Nicholas, but we're going to make it a family affair and fingers are crossed for clear skies.

Galilean Nights

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