We’ve had the telescope out a few times since purchase — the trigger point, for me at least, has been the fact that whenever I walk in the backyard and look to the east I see Jupiter shining bright. I’m by no means any sort of expert (or even close) on astronomy, so honestly I’m not sure how long Jupiter will hang around or when it will be back. Which makes me want to stare at it a bit through the telescope. Just something about seeing Jupiter and its four moons amazes me. And the cool thing is, it appears to have the same effect on Piper. Everyone else thinks it is cool, don’t get me wrong… I think it kind of freaks out Lela and Mystique, though
The other planet that we were excited about seeing was Saturn. In the research I did for the telescope one of the criteria was being able to see Saturn and its rings, so I knew it was possible. I just didn’t know if it was possible for us
As luck would have it, Saturn doesn’t pop into our nighttime viewing until late April / May. Piper and I didn’t want to wait that long, so we talked about getting up early one morning where Saturn was in the sky. Luckily (?) I’ve been waking up early lately, so for me a 5am viewing isn’t too bad, and that’s when Saturn was visible, just before the sun came out.
Piper told me to wake her up anytime so we could do it so this morning when I woke up at 4:45am I decided this would be that morning. I got up, crept about with the lights off to try and keep my night vision, and got the telescope out to the backyard. Saturn was pretty easy to spot once I knew the general area — this giant planets can be bright!
It was near the moon, but luckily it was only a sliver of brightness so didn’t affect the viewing. I guided the telescope over to the area of Saturn, found it, focused in and…. saw the rings of saturn!. Amazing! Clear as day (night), little Saturn surrounded by its rings, just sitting up there in our night sky.
I went inside to Piper and Lela’s room, shook Piper a bit and when she woke up and looked at me I just said “Saturn”. She got this big grin on her face, made a little Piper-squeek, grabbed her glasses, and started to get out of bed. I grabbed her blanket and wrapped it around her and we walked out to the telescope.
I moved the scope to find Saturn again and got Piper her step stool and let her take a look. I didn’t say a thing — I wanted her to find the rings for real, not just think she saw them because I did. Her hand reached up to focus… and then she looked up at me with a big ol’ smile and said, “I see the rings!”
We both took turns looking at Saturn for a few minutes, and then she went back to bed, still smiling. I brought the scope back in (after a quick peek at the moon which was also amazing) and started up my normal routine.
What a great way to start the day.