Starry, Starry Night

Well, not so much stars, but other things.

Tonight, Sio and I took Roaul’s Celestron out, and gave it a dry run from the driveway. This is a beautiful old C8, dating from the mid-70s. I can remember when Uncle Roaul bought it, and how much I wanted to have one someday. After using this one for an hour on a quiet, cool Friday night, I can see that why these old orange scopes have such a mystique about them.

This one has probably not been used in ten years or so, and yet was still perfectly aligned from the spotting scope to the main tube. The drive motor runs well (although I didn’t test its accuracy), and the tripod still is rock solid. What an amazing piece of engineering.

So, Sio and I pointed it at the Ring Nebula (M57) and the Andromeda Galaxy (M31) and Albeiro. I explained to Sio what we were looking at, and what was significant. To me, seeing the wispy smoke ring of the Ring Nebula was such a thrill! That’s always been the litmus test for any piece of gear I’ve owned. However, the bigger impact on me was Albeiro. I’ve never been able to see the colors that so many people talk about with this beautiful Christmas-colored pair. Tonight I could.

I hope one day that Sio will look on the sky with the same fondness and wonder that I do, and that she’ll remember this night just as well as I will.