The morning began with an interesting question from my Lovely, ” Do you know what ‘equinox’ means?” She had already looked it up and gave an answer as I was formulating one. I noticed the table had a binocular on it. She had “snuck out” in the night to take a peek at the stars, but I was sleeping so soundly that she did not attempt to wake me. All of this speaks of a changed woman, who had never contemplated such things until she started observing the heavens for herself. So, she is not just writer, a love sponge, and a love giver, she wants to know more about the creation she sees around her.
We invited friends that day to eat dinner and observe the moon a little bit. They knew of our passion for biblical creation but had never observed the heavens with a serious instrument. The moon was wonderful, but the setup with astro-video got their attention, because we could sit around the table inside while the video signal of the moon could be watched in the warmth of a home. Then, with a couple minutes of preparation, we went to the Orion Nebula. When the image “develops” over a minute, they watched the color emerge on the wings with the layers of reds, pinks, and greys. The deep shadows got sharper as they jutted into the trapezium and through M43 at the “backside” of the nebula. So, I began to explain reflection nebula, sources of light on various parts, and how it all begins to make sense. We went from there to questions on the uniqueness of earth, its atmosphere, and the lovely ways that the Lord created this amazing planet.
A couple hours after they left, we decided to go to bed early because the skies were supposed to remain clear. At 5 am local time (Eastern Daylight Time) we gazed and sketched around Sagittarius as it rose over the foothills of the Cheat Mountain ridge. With eyes and an 8×42 binocular I recorded the scene. It was the end of an amazing 24-hour period as the second day of Spring was about to dawn. And the wife, my Lovely, she is on a roll….learning. And, she keeps a star map on the kitchen table most of the time.
From the Day 4 Observing Site,