I am Jesse McGlown, veteran, musician, and avid stargazer. I have had a passion for the night sky since getting "bitten" during my fifth-grade year. Our class did a field trip to the local planetarium, and from that thirty-minute program, I was hooked. I began an intense six-month period of lobbying my parents for a telescope. Upon getting it, my first search was for the planet Saturn…and, early one morning, I found it! Could barely make out the rings, but I was ecstatic. No matter how many pristine photographs you have seen of this outer gem, nothing-and I mean nothing-is as thrilling as seeing Saturn through a telescope. On a subsequent occasion, a guy got his wife out of bed, after midnight, to look at it through my instrument. More on that story in a future "ish"!
My intent, through this forum, is to not only convey my passion for stargazing, but also to provide a weekly guide as to What’s Up There. Think of the evening (or, in my case, the occasional pre-dawn) sky as the ultimate I-Max Theater: the show changes nightly, with stars in the West setting about one minute earlier each successive evening; stars in the East, rising one minute earlier. An “attraction” that’s center stage evenings, high in the sky this month, will be lost in the solar glare, three or four months later…only to emerge a couple of months beyond that in the pre-dawn sky, like the proverbial Phoenix having risen from the ashes!
I can think of no greater satisfaction, beyond the casual enlightenment of a visitor to this site, than that of sparking the same love for All Things Celestial that grabbed me in such a tight bear hug at the tender age of ten years old!
More To Follow,
P.S. The telescope is my prize Celestron 150mm f/8 refractor (yes, this animal is BIG), set up at a Tennessee overlook, elevation around 2200 feet. While that makes for some pristine observing, it cools off FAST after sunset!
P.P.S. I am also a somewhat frustrated photographer! I say “frustrated”, because these few pictures are the extent of what I can do with a simple Point & Click camera, that was designed more for capturing the baby sucking its toes than close-up Celestial Gems…we learn by doing, right?