Saturday, February 22, 2020

The One Thing

I began my adventures into astronomy in the late 70's in a state of almost perfect ignorance. Ignorance not being a derogatory term, but simple fact. This is true of any endeavor we seek to explore, especially at a young age. Those initial sparks that begin the quest, like the proverbial butterfly effect, have grown more influential exponentially through time. Like time itself, now can be traced to the beginning.

Rediscovering observing at fifty-one 

As I ventured to see this vast universe, observable from our familiar perch, the universe also grew within me. Now decades later, having been both an observer and photographer of the starry realm, I recognize that the two have always been competing with each other. Photography is a means of capturing, for others to see, a glimpse of what is not normally observable. Observing – the simple act of seeing first hand what may be held within the scope of human vision. Under dark skies, a surprising amount come to find out. Eyes are the most useful tool in exploring astronomical phenomena. Stars, clusters of stars, nebulae and galaxies, just to name but a few.

Fast forward forty-some-odd years since I first peered through a telescope and hence forth hundreds (thousands?) of hours at the telescope, behind the astro-camera, binocular, or unaided eye. The trove of films, notebooks and memories distill down to the one thing.

What a long time under the night sky looks like

Perhaps it is age now and more recently my health limiting my abilities. I've tried to rekindle the technical passions required to photograph the night sky. I do feel my ability to participate in the modern methods of the craft much beyond my ken. A veteran astronomer now taken to reminiscing. My seemingly productive years now behind. I am left wondering – what now?

The one thing that is left, is time. Time to put it all in perspective. Time to once again, observe, occasionally photograph, to write, and to put it out there.

There are stories to tell.