Jun 18, 2007

Taste of astronomy

It's almost night time!

It had been a very long time that I haven't touched astronomy. My first taste of it was when I was in high school in 1996 where the solar eclipes happened not far from home (4 hours drive I think) at Matunggong. A few weeks before the solar eclipes happened, dad manage to build a pin hole projection so that all of us could watch it safely. A few days of cutting a measuring the mounting board looked rather tiring to make but it was well worth it when we watched the shadow of the moon covering the sun. I just couldn't forget that moment when the scenery became dark and seeind a white/yellow circle surrounded a black round object which reminds me of the series Heroes.
Another touch of astronomy was when I was studying in Labuan during my pre-U. The place that I studied was really away from town and from society. We were warned not to switch on the lights to study and all the street light had to be turned of at our area. With such conditions, it was ideal for stargazing out of the dorms and apartments. I would usually sit near the gate of the 'school' to watch the sunset while waited for the stars to come out. My sense of appreciation of astronomy heightened when my closest friend sat next to me and taught me how to figure out which star was which. He even teared a part of his favourite book(scientific american) so that I could use it for reference. Up to now, I still kept that paper at home.
Last night, I had the chance again to observe nature's beauty in the heavens at Mountain Park, Tucson. After a 15 min talk by an enthusiast on astronomy, I was able to understand deeper that each stars and consellations has its own legends and history to tell. It indeed excited me that night to know and to study more. The best part was I could look at the planets and galaxies for the first time on some of the enthusiast's powerful telescopes.
It was up to the extent that we looked for books at a second hand bookstore at Bookman's(Amazon is still cheaper) and at an astronomi shop nearby my apartment. What was more interesting was that the shopkeeper gave my colleagues and I a book for free because of our interest and also to find out that we were Christians. The way he elaborated the connections between the bible and astronomy astounded me. It was certainly one of the best days of my life to understand a little more of astronomy.

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