Moon gazing

We visited an observatory for a chance to see the moon up close.

The New Berlin public library organized an evening event at the Milwaukee Astronomical Society to attend a presentation and, once it got dark, see the moon. Namine was enthralled by the presentation; she was amazed that such clear pictures of the moon, planets, and even far-away galaxies were able to be taken by amateur astronomers.

The word “amateur” is used by the society themselves, not as an insult (as it is sometimes used), but as a compliment. Unlike professionals who are astronomers to be paid, they do it solely as a hobby.

The observatory grounds were impressive, but unfortunately nothing was built to be accessible. Even the entrance to where we viewed the presentation had some steps.

That, at least, was of little concern. Society members brought out a portable ramp so Namine could come inside.

After the presentation was over, it was dark enough to come back outside and look at the moon. Unfortunately, none of the telescopes’ viewing lenses were close enough to the ground for Namine to look through while seated in her wheelchair. They also moved easily at the slightest touch, so she wasn’t able to stand at one on her own.

There were four telescopes for the group to choose from, all offering the same view of the moon so it didn’t matter which one we chose. Two of the telescopes’ viewing lenses were so high that we had to go up a step ladder; those obviously would never work. Namine and I chose the telescope that was the least touchy and was also on the ground.

I picked Namine up and moved close to the telescope. One of the society’s members helped us, making sure Namine could look through the lense while also making sure we didn’t accidentally move the telescope itself.

Jessica managed to get this picture with her phone through one of the telescopes.

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