Monday, September 29, 2014

Dusty Equipment

You might be surprised to learn that I love gear. 


That is if you don't know me. I first became aware of my addiction to gear years ago. It was through my first true outdoor passion: Astronomy. 

It was some time back,when I was in high school, and I was deeply invested in the sciences. I enjoyed how they changed the way I viewed reality and enlightened me to the order of the world that surrounded me. The awesome power of natural phenomena and the complexity of our universe truly appealed to me. Astronomy, though, was my discipline of choice to see deeper, literally, into this cosmos.

Over the course of this hobby I devoted thousands in my personal expendable income into telescopes, eyepieces, filters, solar filters (for viewing sun spots) tripods, maps and all the other accoutrements you can think of to make one self respecting amature astronomer.  I experienced a number of amazing sights, for example,  routinely being able to manually find the Andromeda Galaxy or the time I used a green filter and a 2Xs barlow with a piece of string attached so I could see Phobos, a small asteroid captured and turned into a moon by Mars. A few weeks later I used the same method to see the even smaller Deimos.

Tonight I decided to bust it all out again for a small moon viewing sesh. I had a pretty rough day at work and wanted to see mountains. I thought it was impossible, but then I remembered that the moon was in a great phase and I realized I could see actual light from actual mountains all from my backyard in New Orleans.

After a short dusting of all the gear (and it WAS dusty) it was time to get to viewing.

Great night for viewing the Western hemisphere of the Moon.

The only real problem here is that all these "mountains" are formed by meteor impacts. On Earth, mountains are not only capable of being formed by meteors but they can also be formed by volcanism and the process of orogeny, which has only been observed on our planet.

Oh and for the record, I never spent the money on astrophotography gear. The photos of the moon here were taken hand held.


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