I finally bought myself a telescope and thought you all should know.
It's a Celestron Astromaster reflector, 70mm. Pretty sure that makes sense. Either way, there's a big 70
stamped to the side of the tube.
Pipe. Tubey pipey thing.
So I figure out how to put it together, then take it to the balcony.
The neighbours shut their curtains.
As I fiddle with the knobs (heehee) I realise that the constellations I thought I was seeing are just the faint nobody stars that live far off (or not so brightly) and that I can't see them with just my naked eye. This astonishes me greatly, and I nearly fall over.
Luckily, I'm a smoker.
It's a lovely excuse to go outside at 3am when you can't sleep, which is what I did tonight (or this morning if you like particulars). It's a stunning, clear night with Orion rising over the trees in the backyard. Then I see a massive shiny beacon shining beacon-ingly. "Hmm.." I stroke my non-existent beard.
Peering through the scope, I focus in on what is obviously a planet.
"Ah yes, must be Venus or something," I explain to a nearby possum.
He takes this as an insult and fritters away.
And I thought, "How nice that those tiny stars sit around it like that.
Four of them. I wonder how often that happens."
I focus in and out a bit.
And then I see the stripes.
I actually rub my eyes like in the cartoons.
"OH NO WAY." I do a little dance.
The two stripes I see are parallel with the moons, so I'm pretty sure of my achievement. Io, Europa, Ganymede, Callisto. Probably not even in that order, but hey, I'm new.
And I realise that I've chanced upon Jupiter and his lunar girlfriends using the same type of telescope that Galileo spotted them in.
Go me! Did anyone else happen to see it??
Also, thinking about growing one of those mad Galilean beards. As a woman, this may prove difficult.