Sunday, August 4, 2013

Nature's Fireworks

I recall an early interest in astronomy that corresponded to my fascination with the Mercury space program.  I read in a magazine that I could make my own Planetarium for my bedroom using a flashlight, an old Quaker Oats oatmeal carton, some tape, cardboard and a hole punch.

After my visit to a real Planetarium I was excited to get started even if I had to consume oatmeal for breakfast.

I would attempt to speed up the process by eating raw, uncooked oats with a spoon, anything to bring the night sky to my bedroom ceiling.

All  the components were in place. Mom really didn't believe that we polished off the box so quickly, but to be honest I had assistance from our family mutt, Sandy, who would eat everything and anything (including the liver) I would sneak under the table.

The project was a success, somewhat rudimentary, but I could punch out the constellations on cardboard and display them for the three of us who shared the room. I was enthralled, my brothers, on the other hand, just wanted to use the flashlight to hold up to their faces and scare one another.

Then August arrived and presented a different problem.

One night while at summer camp we took our sleeping bags and slept out in a field to watch the annual  Perseid meteor shower.  When I returned home I attempted to somehow animate my Planetarium, duplicating that event, leading to it's quick demise.

Each year I look forward to viewing this light show in the heavens. I recall good times when I would sit out on the back deck with my son, or alone, awaiting nature's fireworks.

This wonderment also corresponds to my wedding anniversary so I am reminded that I must go now and buy something.

Look up in the night sky and enjoy the view.

There is a link below that may provide some assistance.