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Impromptu star-gazing

October 22, 2010

Thanks to the heating coming on noisily this morning, I found myself awake a good half hour before the alarm goes off.

That’s good news in the sense that the alarm has a tendency to wake little madam in the bedroom next door, but bad news in that its 30 minutes less sleep and the alarm going off at 6:30 in the morning is bad enough.

Sadly, it seems that little madam was also awake. So my getting up for an earlier than normal breakfast to allow wifie dear a bit of extra bed time failed utterly. On hearing me get up and creep downstairs, little madam followed suit.

I heard her stamping about in her bedroom, as she is want to do most mornings. This usually consists of arranging various toys and bringing something into out bedroom with her.

It wasn’t long before I heard her coming down the stairs to join me, having discovered her mother in bed alone, still waking up. In her hands was the sky-map booklet that is on of her books. This particular book is about our solar system and mans exploration of space to date. Its full of little child friendly facts with lift up flags and bright simple drawings. She loves paging through it and having me read out the various information paragraphs.

In the back of said book is a little booklet that has simple star maps of what you can see in each hemisphere throughout the year.

Little madam had this booklet clutched in her hand and wanted me to show her the constellations. Such a proud moment for a father who adores the night sky.

Given the time of the morning, it was still dark outside and by great fortune utterly clear. So slipper and dressing gowns on, all downstairs lights off and a little torch to see the booklet so we could identify the constellations.

Orion was bright and easy to spot, not something I needed a chart to find. Opposite it was the big dipper, again easy to spot and no looking up required. A brief check on the charts and we were soon looking at Cassiopeia and Gemini as well. It was a good fun 10 minutes looking around the sky, checking the chart for what we could see. I loved introducing the stars to my daughter. Stars I had adored looking up at as a child, but rarely get a chance to these days.

Ten minutes was all we could spare as it was a very cold morning and food and showers were calling.

Here’s hoping this was the first of many daddy-daughter star gazing moments. All we need now is a decent telescope to really get the wow factor.


From → comment, space

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