Saturday, 27 December 2008

New Moon, where are you?

I got a telescope for Christmas. That sounds very grand. And it is. But it's the sort of telescope that comes with the sort of warning: Not Suitable for Children Under 3. So it's not going to spot any comets three days before scientists do; but it should give me a good close-up of the moon. As good as a pair of binoculars at least.

So tonight I set it up - that is I pulled out its plastic legs, popped in the 40x lens and bent the little stand to tilt it back. It did a lot of creaking and made little cracking noises, but these were clearly noises of quality being tested to the full. I turned the lights off and sat by the back door. Lens off. Then I gazed at the sky and searched for a glimpse of the moon.

One hour right ascension, a few minutes south declination, a few more hours right ascension. Nothing.

Then I looked at my lunar chart and saw "New Moon" between the 26th and 27th. And then I swallowed part of a lens.

2009 is going to be a test.

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