Sunday, October 29, 2006
The Telescope Kit
Bro. Clarence is busy right now building his new telescope, the kit arrived and after pondering the contents of the boxes, and pondering even longer over instruction sheets, he finally began work. He told me it is a 10" f/6 Dobsonian Reflector, which means little to us non-astronomers, but the 10" mirror does impress me, for I have done some viewing of the night sky through, I think, a 6" telescope. An astronomy club holds monthly star parties at the Joshua Tree National Park, and a few of us have ventured there and experienced the excitement that those star gazers express, and I think our appearance those nights caused a bit of a stir, for they said we were the first "monks" that have ever appeared at one of their parties. Well, that was then, now is now, and shortly we will have our own telescope to scan the night skies with. I admit, my knowledge of astronomy is limited to the fuzzy recollections of a college astronomy class. But I do recall, at the time, I was dazzled by the "numbers" involved in all that is "up there" over head. Just trying to grasp the distance in one light year (I just asked Bro. Clarence what that distance is, and he rattled this off without blinking: "A light year is 6 trillion miles.") 6,000,000,000,000 miles!!! And a while back I clipped this pedometer to my belt, just for the fun of it, and after a predawn stroll through the desert, I returned to the break fast table and checked my pedometer and found my trek came to 4.8 miles. Now how many morning strolls equals one light year? Anyway, I just returned and can report that Bro. Clarence is making slow headway, for now he is surrounded by four brothers, each peppering him with questions, of which I heard one answered, "Pluto is no longer a planet, but I understand that the folks at the Lowell Observatory maintain that Pluto is indeed a planet on all their brass plaques."