When I was in college I took two semesters of Astronomy. This might seem like an odd thing for a theology major to take, but I find the subject fascinating 1.
My favorite memory of Astronomy is, by far, developing our film negatives and seeing how our images turned out. This was before the advent of digital photography, and we used to lug out the telescopes on to the roof of the classroom building to take out images. It was cold, the weather frequently refused to cooperate, and sometimes the film was actually bad 2 – and I wouldn’t trade a moment of it.
Now that I have a DLSR I have been meaning to get out on a night when the moon is closers to crescent or quarter so I can bring out some of the Moon’s surface features along the terminator. Friday night my friend convinced me to go out, even though it was very hazy, and I’m glad I did! Most of the images weren’t all that much to write home about, and they all needed to be processed pretty heavily in Lightroom to combat the haze, but I am pleased with the results. For the first time since I was in college, I’ve taken photographs in which I can make out some actual features on the Moon.
The above image isn’t perfect, and the haze washes out much of the Moon’s surface, but I love seeing actual craters on a stellar object – in a photo I took! Eventually I’m going to have to get a stellar tracking head for my tripod, and go nuts with stellar photography.
- My understanding of education is to always be “learning,” I really don’t care all that much learning being “practical” as learning how to think and appreciate the world is typically more valuable than “practical” learning. I guess this is why I typically find “continuing education” dreadfully dull. ↩
- I’m not kidding. My second semester my lab partners and I went up and captured close up shots of the moon four times, only to find that the shots were worthless when we developed the film. We finally got permission to take color images and develop them elsewhere. ↩