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July 17, 2013 / Avarielle

my first sidewalk astronomy session

[originally written on the 9th of May 2012. I found it in my drafts on my iPad and decided to post it.]

I’ve probably mentioned it before that sidewalk astronomy is something I want to get into. And today I finally got the chance.

I saw a tweet from @astrosg that he was doing a session at Toa Payoh Central earlier tonight and I decided to go. So I dismantled my telescope and packed up what I could into my bag.

I reached the place around 8 30 and already two other telescopes were set up. A while later, someone else came with another telescope so we had four telescopes.

This pretty much happened: we pointed our telescopes at the sky, people came by to take a look, and they were impressed. That was basically what happened.

Other things that did happen: The guys (I was the only girl there) helped me align my telescope properly and taught me how to use it. So that was really really awesome since now I know how to use the mount/tripod better.

Also, I got to try out a few eyepieces and really enjoyed it. Someone lent me a zoom eyepiece. I really enjoyed that. It’s something I can consider purchasing since it allows me a few different magnifications with one eyepiece.

And someone pointed out the Jewel Box star cluster (NGC 4755) and helped me point my scope at it. It was really pretty and YAY to adding on to the list of things I’ve seen in the sky.

Halfway through the session, the clouds suddenly decided to turn up so we were worried that we had to pack up. Thankfully, the clouds moved away soon enough and we could see more stuff.

(I’m not mentioning any names of anyone since I don’t know if they want their names here. Just so you know, there was four of us, three guys and me, obviously not a guy.)

20120509-100054.jpg

[in hindsight, that sidewalk session was probably one of the best things to happen to me. One of the other astronomers I met at that session is now my amazing boyfriend. And yes, he’s that guy looking through the telescope in the photo above.]

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