Younger Stargazers and Electronic Astronomy.

I’ve had a bit of an e-bay splurge over the summer and bought a few bits of kit, one of which has been a small ETX telescope for taking away with us (see earlier post) and another of which has been a little ZWO webcam type effort because… well, why not?

With the full moon out and not a lot of chance for DSOs I decided to spend an evening combining these recent purchases and looking at the moon, and I decided to see how the little camera coped on what should be an ideal target. Sam came out to join me and the little ETX was giving us really beautiful crisp sharp magnified views through the eyepiece. This, to me, is wonderful, and I can easily spend hours doing it- Sam liked it too, but wasn’t quite as fascinated.

So we got the laptop out and plugged the camera in and started looking at the exact same thing on screen- what a transformation! Sitting with the hand controller, controlling what appeared on screen, picking out the major landmarks and taking snapshots of it, he was in his element- he could not have been any more thrilled.

Without wanting to attach too much significance to one event and one child, I do think there’s a generation issue here. For me there’s something brilliant in the knowledge that the actual light my eyes are experiencing has travelled across space from the source of the object I’m looking at. But for younger people (and how much of an old git do I sound?), who are used to experiencing the world through screens and technology, this is what grabs them.

Some photos below to give you an idea of what we were looking at- they’re not the greatest as frankly I was having trouble getting anywhere near the controls!

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