Look up

Tonight, inspired by a recent post on BoingBoing, we braved the chilly 27F/-3C night and I handed the kids my trusty old binoculars and told them to take a look at Jupiter. As cold as it was, the sky was really clear and visibility was great. None of us had trouble spotting the four biggest  moons of the planet – which were the first objects in space observed to orbit an object other than the sun or the earth.

For the kids especially, it was an amazing experience to take a closer look at this bright spot in the night sky and to realize it’s Jupiter, and to be able to see Jupiter’s moons  just like that, with a pair of binoculars.

OUR moon also is amazing to watch – it is in its third quarter right now, and on a crisp, clear night you can see the texture of the surface and the curvature of the sphere. At the day/night border you can see the craters and mountains very clearly. It feels like you could reach and touch it. Very cool.

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