Friday, August 26, 2011

Reach for the stars

So easy to assemble, we let our toddler do it.
Today the Hogan Science Academy embarked on our first astronomical adventure using Dad's birthday gift, a telescope. This telescope is enormous, compared to what my children (and I) expect from amateur telescopes. No paper towel tubes here, folks, this baby is about the size of two of our babies.

As the day waned, excitement waxed. My husband granted the older boys the boon of staying up past 8pm to enjoy viewing the stars. They were like tiny actors modeling Brownian motion vibrating all over our back deck.

Actually viewing the stars was difficult to photograph since we kept the astronomy theater nice and dark so you will have to close your eyes and imagine two young children, teetering on the edge of a plastic patio chair, their dad hovering protectively over them as they jostle each other and attempt to keep one eye shut.

"We're looking into outer space!" shouted D.

It was their first glimpse of distant stars in great detail. It was one of those times when science reveals it's miracles and our cognitive dissonance allows faith and reason to embrace.

Since only one boy could use the telescope at a time, I supplemented the experience with Star Walk. It was satisfying to hear my boys shouting "Hercules!" and "The Hydra!" They wanted desperately to see planets but I did my best to explain why they weren't visible at this moment.

Our oldest went to bed first and fell asleep with his light on, book collapsed on his face, just like his dad. I picked up the book and saw he had chosen You Are The First Kid on Mars. Sweet dreams, Space Hero.