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April 25th, 2011

It was -16°C (3.2 ºF) outside so I knew that I didn't have to worry about frostbite. I was also well aware that the weather station was predicting rain for the rest of the week and I was leaving on vacation on Friday. Yeah,.. It was to be my last time outside with my telescope for a good three weeks. I didn't even think twice about it. Even if I had classes to teach the very next morning, even if I knew that it would take some time for darkness to fall,.. I brought my telescope out for some star gazing.

I decided to set my sights on the constellation Leo since it seems that all one has to do in this sector of space is sneeze and one stumbles on a galaxy. I stumbled on two right away: M 95 and 96 (both spiral galaxies found over 30 million light years from where I was standing).

I looked away from my eyepiece when I spotted them since a strong emotion overtook me. It's not that I hadn't seen galaxies before, it's also not because they were overly interesting,.. it was because I could see them. When I am struck with an MS relapse, my eyesight becomes blurry and remains as such for many weeks. Recovery is slow. Many times I wonder, "Is it becoming better?" or "Am I just getting used to it?",... To strain through blurriness to see what stands in front of me is one thing. To see perfectly and become excited in discovering something blurry through an eyepiece is quite another. I saw two. Nah,... they weren't blurry,... let's just call them for what they are: WARM FUZZIES.

Since I was clearly able to see them, I can now officially declare that my vision has returned (no matter what my doctor says when I see him this summer). One doesn't need eyesight to have vision right?

Before calling it a night I took a small detour to see my dazzling neighbour that had remained silent up till then. Saturn showed its rings proudly when I finally settled on its face. I guess we both were sharing the same tune that night:




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Thanks Paul. I'm looking forward to blogging about my trip to the Kennedy Space Center. I'm going to have a blast!


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hi a was videoing sturn the other night i done 7x3 minutes x8 for each one i restacked the 8 pics which had a average of 7500 frsmes not posted them i will put them all in one pic ,did you manage any video ? did you find any way to convert to avi.leo is on my list its high and south from around 22:00 went out tonight but the wind was gusting at around 14mph even with just one side open in the maje shift obs,get a look at m57 with the lpf filter the donut ghost pops out .the final throw of the viel neb also is much more than before have a great trip and new targets also overwhelm me every time its something i can not explain

tc pat

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