Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Io, Ganymede, Europa and Shane

On Saturday night Elf and I and the boys went out to the Mt Canopus observatory at Cambridge for a public access astronomy evening. Marcus is very big on space, and Michael was very very keen indeed. As we were driving out along the highway through Warrane, he asked "Is this Space?" When he realised that we would be just looking at the moon and planets, not driving to them, he calmed down a little.

It was a lovely evening to be out in the dark on a hilltop in the country. Unfortunately it was a little cloudy, so the only things we had a chance to see were close-ups of the craters of the Moon, and Jupiter, with its four main moons. I remembered the name of three of them from a National Geographic article I read long ago. I asked the fairly severe astronomer, who was sharing his telescope with the public, what the fourth moon was called. "Er... I don't know". I should think if you are going to bark at children "DON'T TOUCH THE SCOPE!, DON'T TOUCH THE SCOPE!" you should at least have some facts at your fingertips.

The boys had fun and enjoyed having a late night, even though we didn't actually get to leave Earth.

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