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"When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; What is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him?" Psalms 8: 3-4
Night Sky Adventures (tm) interpretive astronomy tours begin with a short orientation of the telescope, instructions regarding the telescope and description of how and why it works and how to use it.
Then it is on to our own solar system, viewing the planets visible that night and moon if it is up.
Depending on the time of year, the rings of Saturn, Jupiter's great red spot and moons are all plainly visible. The polar ice caps, surface color variations and dust storms of Mars, the crescent phases, and beautiful cloud tops of Venus and the green disk of Uranus all show their beauty through the eyepiece. The space walk feel of the surface of the Moon at over 300 power is simply breathtaking.
Next comes shining brilliance of stars and star systems. Viewing stars against a jet black sky is like diamonds on velvet, and star clusters with points of light too numerous to count fill the eyepiece like fireworks. Nebulae with glowing blue, green and purple tendrils seem like delicate fiery giants in space (they are). Supernova remnants, the death shells of exploded stars, expand silently across the galaxy. All of these sights give you a feel for the true scale and beauty of the universe.
Then, we leave our own galaxy for the reaches of deepest interstellar space. Hundreds of millions of light years away (yes you can see that far), galaxies become visible as spinning wheels across the universe or great globes of light containing billions and billions of stars crossed by dark lanes of dust, gas and debris from dying stars.
From time to time we will leave the telescope to see the nearby stars with short laser pointer presentations of the constellations and their legends.
Questions are encouraged and guests are welcome to bring their own binoculars and to share their experiences.
in easy to understand terms.