Can I See the Big Moon Again?

The Moon was aligned with Jupiter, Saturn, and Venus last night Dec. 10. We were visiting our son, his wife, and our 2 ½ year old grandson. I set up their telescope after dinner for some views. First was the Moon. This image is a composite by the Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter for last night and shows our view.

Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter | NASA

Our grandson was first in line to look. He placed his face close to the eyepiece the way he saw me do it. I could see the bright moonlight through the eyepiece was shining on his nose. With some careful nudging, I was able to move his head to the side just enough so the moonlight shined into one of his eyes. Then, I heard a giggle. What a satisfying sound to hear. He pulled away and looked up at the Moon. He went back to the eyepiece and there was another giggle. I said to him that it was very cool. He agreed and said the big moon was cool.

After everyone had a good look, I pointed the scope to Jupiter, Saturn, and then the crescent Venus. After our grandson saw Venus, he asked to see the big moon again. Of course, I was happy to give him as many views as possible. Tonight will be clear again. We will take another look.

19 thoughts on “Can I See the Big Moon Again?

    • One reason I like to do public star parties is to hear the amazed comments when someone sees an object for the first time through the scope.

  1. What a lovely story. Thanks for sharing it. He will remember that experience for many years. And starting him young is such a gift.

  2. I always loved it when I saw the concentrated light on someone’s face when I was showing them the Moon for their first look through a telescope and I knew that they couldn’t see anything. When they moved and suddenly made an exclamation of amazement at what they saw, it always gave me an enormous feeling of satisfaction. As I am sure it did to you with your grandson.

    I’m not sure I’ll ever get that pleasure again, thank you covid.

  3. Actual experience is an essential part of learning, of course. What a delightful story of introducing your grandson to this. Wouldn’t surprise me if this spark inspired him to eventually become a modern-day Galileo!

    • I grew up on a farm with dark skies on clear nights. At about age 12, my folks gave me a telescope. I am still hooked on looking at the heavens.

  4. What a wonderful story, which both of you will treasure.

    I remember watching a partial solar eclipse from my primary school playground in 1954, with my teacher and the rest of my class. We were only just outside the path of totality, so it was a major event and it was the spark which triggered my lifelong interest in astronomy.

    Maybe one day your grandson will use his own blog site to trace his interest in astronomy back to that exciting long ago night in 2021 when he first saw the “Big Moon” with his Grandpa.

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