Almost Lost to Us: The Night Sky and Patient Observation

Last night, our great friend and meteorologist, David, takes us to view the night sky. It occurs to me that my children haven’t been stargazing.

Because of light pollution, we find that we never go outside to gaze at the stars (like I did when I was a little girl). Stargazing, for me, ranks right up there with catching fireflies, wandering in a forest, catching minnows, and performing all the other traditional acts of childhood.

But my own children don’t see the stars the way I did.

David knows where to drive outside of town to gaze at the stars. He knows weather conditions, galactic activity, and all the words to equip us to articulate what we’re actually seeing up there including constellation names.

45 minutes outside of town, somewhere in Black Moshannon (I can’t actually see where we are; it’s that dark), we pull off the road and bundle up in sleeping backs right on the frosty ground. After waiting for the clouds to clear–and after warming up with hot cider–we see the stars.

It requires patient observation.

I catch three shooting stars. It was sublime!

On another weekend, we’ll travel to Cherry Springs State Park–which in our state of Pennsylvania, has the least amount of light pollution.

Mostly, it was wonderful and important to see we are part of something so much bigger than ourselves. Observing the Milky Way, for example, silences us in awe and worship.

David took these photos with the Canon DSLR (Rebel T3) with the default lens.


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