Moonwatch Evening/ A series of talks at the observatory – Ink in a Watercolour Moleskine
We visited this series of astronomical talks on Saturday night. It was held in the old observatory on Edinburgh’s Calton Hill. I had never gazed at any stars or planets through a telescope before so was looking forward to this part of the night. First of all we were “treated” to talks about infra red radiation, measuring astronomical distances and time using caesium isotopes. We also learned about comets, meteorites and meteors. I wondered if Margaret was thinking about divorce by the end of this but we finally viewed the moon and Jupiter (with three of her moons showing) through the hundred year old telescope. My scene is meant to represent the top, right hand side of the moon with Jupiter showing beyond. (I have moved Jupiter a few million miles left to get her into the page – artistic license!). I found the whole experience awe-inspiring and now want a huge telescope for my next birthday present. We were lucky. It had been stormy on Friday and more foul weather (very severe as it turned out) was forecast for late Saturday and Sunday. As the last of our group looked at the heavens a veil of cloud swept over the view and the moon she hid her secrets from us – until next time.
From The Rime of the Ancient Mariner
The moving Moon went up the sky.
And nowhere did abide;
Softly she was going up,
And a star or two beside-
By Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)