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June 6, 2013

Hey guys – I know I talk about space quite a bit… and I’ve definitely mentioned how Saturn is one of the coolest planets in our solar system… so this was a pretty exciting night for me. There’s an astronomical society in Seattle that pairs up with the University of Washington, and together they provide education outreach services to help make space things more accessible to the public.

If you live in the area and think space is the bees knees, I highly recommend you check out:
The Seattle Astronomical Society
The Theodor Jacobsen Observatory

Tonight we got to go up and see the century old telescope which is powered entirely by gravity through a system of weights, pulleys and gyroscopes. These mechanisms function to keep the scope aligned with the celestial object as the Earth rotates – otherwise it would constantly be drifting out of view. Sidenote: old school mechanics and physicists were so badass. Anyway, we were even allowed to peek thorugh this 120-year old telescope at the star Altair (part of the constellation Aquila… which is Latin for Eagle).

Maybe Latin didn’t have a word for stingray

Then afterward we went outside where members of the Seattle Astronomical Society had set up their PERSONAL telescopes for us to view the night sky with. We had to fight with a light cloud cover, but the night was still a success. We got to see the International Space Station zoom overhead… which by the way is the third brightest object in the night sky (after the sun and the moon) and passes right over your head a few times every single night. If you want to know when it’s coming by over your city, check out this site.

But the coolest part of the whole night (for me at least) was getting to view Saturn through two different telescopes. I think I’ve been waiting for 26 years for this exact moment, where I got to see a celestial object as well-known and gorgeous as Saturn up close and personal. It was super exciting and breathtaking… and although the image I captured with my cell phone through the eyepiece does absolutely no justice to what I saw with my eyes, I still wanted to share it with you.



Anyway – if you’re at all inclined toward space things you should check if your city has a stargazing club or society. I found the people in Seattle to be really enthusiastic and friendly, and they were happy to answer questions and talk about how baller it is to look at Saturn for funsies and stuff. I personally find that observing space is inspirational… and tonight was something I will definitely never forget.


From → SPACE

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