Growing up in a small town in Southern New Jersey

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Star gazing

I recall when I was a teenager (and even into my 20s) laying out on the lawn of the lot next door to the house (which is now a parking lot for the church) and watching the stars and waiting for meteors.

I loved to do that. It didn't matter how cold it was. If there was a meteor shower for that night, I was out there around midnight, laying on a blanket on the cold, damp group waiting for a view of shooting stars.

I think I got my love for star gazing from my father. He had at least three telescopes, and at times he had all three of them out back pointing each one at something different -- i.e., one was pointed at the full moon, another was pointed at Saturn, and another a Jupiter. And he would call me (and anyone else who showed the least bit of interest in his hobby) and ask me to "Look, Judith. Isn't that amazing?" Most of the time I oohed and aahed, but really didn't see what I was supposed to see.

Mostly, I had my head pointed toward the Orion constellation where the meteors would be shooting from.

When I went to college I signed up for Astronomy 101 and 102. And then I signed up for the Astronomy Club -- which meant that once a month went went up on the roof of one of the buildings, looked at either a constellation from which a meteor shower was spewing forth its debris, or we looked through a telescope at Saturn's rings, or Jupiter's moons.

Those were the days!

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