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I'll never forget the first time I looked through a telescope. It was with my uncle's 4" reflector, and we saw an early evening moon. The air was still warm and unstable, and the image shimmered, but nevertheless it remains one of my most vivid telescopic sights. My first 'scope was a borrowed (Thanks to Rick Graves' dad!) Bausch & Lomb spotting scope with an aperture of about 60mm. I used a flimsy camera tripod, and if I knocked it with a knee or something, the image danced about in circles. The first time I tried to find Saturn, I thought, "Hey, this jolly tripod doesn't want to stop wobbling!" But it was my first glimpse of Saturn's oval rings! Years later I bought a Celestron 8" Schmitt-Cassegrain reflector 'scope and briefly joined the local Astronomy Society where a bunch of cranks used to meet on Friday nights to discuss what they had all read in all three of the locally available astronomy magazines, then turn their gaze heavenwards to marvel at the almost blinding brightness of the (invisible to me) Crab nebula. I continue my interest alone, and try to take the telescope to clear and unpolluted skies whenever I can. Looking at the sky sort of puts things into perspective for me.


The Celestron SPC8


The moon through the borrowed spotting 'scope.


Jupiter, showing four of its bigger moons: Io, Europa, Callisto and Ganymede. Donít ask me which is which.

 (OhÖ the big one's Jupiter!)