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Forget the OSCARs, its time for the BAMs


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Best Astronomical Moment

Quite simple, it can either be from watching something on TV such as Saga's Pale Blue Dot speech and Kennedy's 'We will go to the moon' speech or something more personal such as a friend trying to understand you whilst explaining exoplanetary detection methods. Or seeing someone drop a very expensive item, aslong as its mildly funny that is!

Mine would be during second year at university, a friend and I headed out one dark night to take some pictures of the constellations high up on the hills opposite campus. We got lost on the way there twice, then found at the end of this very long farm track a place to park up. My friend was driving, she reversed the car in the pitch black into what we thought was a perfectly stable area, when we opened the doors it turned out that the car was only centimetre's away from a 5ft drop into a fast flowing stream. If we had fallen in I dread to know what would have happened, there was no mobile phone reception and we had no supplies (whoops!).

Anyway we setup in this field to take a picture of Orion, noteably the belt, when along came this rather curious horse to see what we were doing. My friend was quite worried as the horse looked quite menacing in the dark. The irony was that the horse decided to place itself exactly infront of the camera, so to look through the viewfinder you would of seen two 'Horse's heads, that of the horse and that of the nebula. We didn't have time to take a photo, my friend was running out of the field with me close behind carrying the tripod.

I think astronomy and observing is better if its shared :)

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Sagans little blue dot speech, only discovered it the other day, now played it all to all my mates, work colleagues plus anyone who'll listen/ watch really!!

I'm expecting the straight jacket brigade any time now (well, according to SWMBO anyhow)

Edited by Steve C
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Comedy Moment? :-

Quite a few years ago, I use to have an ST102. I was well aware of it's limitations as a plantary scope due to the CA, but eventually I got use to the point of not noticing it.

One night I was observing Jupiter and my neighbour came out, and I asked her If she would like to have a look. She had never looked through a telescope before and she admitted she did not know much about stars and planets.

She had a look and gasped "wow that's amazing, thank you very much for showing me that" and she went in all happy and excited like a small child at christmas.

I saw her the next day and she thanked me again. She then told me that she had told her friends and family that she had seen Jupiter and that It was a large blue thing with a sandy coloured island in the middle of it.

"Eh, what are you talking about" I thought and then it dawned on me that she thought the CA she could see around Jupiter was part of the planet.

I honestly did try to explain what she had seen, but she was so wrapped up in that moment, I just thought leave it.

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