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The Thwarted Astronomer

Can my new hobby survive the weather?

10 Mar 2013, 18:54 UTC
Can my new hobby survive the weather?
(200 words excerpt, click title or image to see full post)

I’m one of those people who read the first few chapters of the Observer’s Book of Astronomy as a child and was immediately hooked…. for a few days at least. The very idea that the sun was 93 million miles away gripped me, and when I began to understand what a light year was and how very, very far away was our nearest star (after the sun), I felt humbled and broadened at the same time. Learning about astronomy made me feel more alive. And very inspired. But as a child, the interest didn’t last, and other passions have come and gone since then.
But I recently renewed my interest in things cosmological after building a cardboard orrery (another story). This time there is plenty to feed my newly re-awakened interest: I have books about astronomy, apps for the iPad, unpolluted countryside skies, and, most importantly, I have a telescope. Will things be different this time?
Last month, armed with star charts and a few quickly memorised constellations, I eagerly awaited the arrival of 2012 DA14, an asteroid due to fly by earth at the spine-tinglingly close distance of about 17,000 miles. I had learned to spot Ursa Minor and ...

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