SJAA

Ephemeris

Mooning with Mom and Dad

Jane Houston


I looked at the moon tonight and jumped in the car. Five minutes later I reached my destination - a house at the end of a dead end street. I approached the front door and took a small box out of my pocket. A silver haired man answered the door. "Here's your moon filter, Dad", I said. "We were just wondering if you were ever going to return the filter", said my Mom. I knew that they would want their filter. It was a crisp and clear night. The near full moon was brilliant. I wanted to spend the evening sharing the 15 day old moon with my parents.

My parents gently carried "Aubergine", their purple 6 inch F5.2 Pierre Schwaar "Companion" reflector - out to the back yard. It's a twin of my own 6 inch "Red Dwarf" reflector. They love their moon filter when the moon is full or near full and I had borrowed it. "There's not much to look at when the moon is so full", my Mom said. That gave me the fuel to keep warm for a half hour as I described some of the spectacular lunar features only visible at this time of the lunar cycle.

To keep warm they donned their matching purple Lands End windbreakers. They turned off the inside lights out of habit. We took a tour of the Tycho and Copernicus ray systems. I explained the dark basin Grimaldi and nearby plain Riccioli. It is anything but plain! These are some of my favorite features on the moon. Then from dark to light - we looked at some of the bright objects - The tiny bright and white crater Linne surrounded by Mare Serenitatis and Aristarchus in Oceanus Procellarum.

We took some looks at the limb - long enough to show my parents the terminator, and to have them observe the crater walls and mysterious features barely visible.

A slow meteor streaked by brightly in the north - we all saw it, mother, father and daughter. We were getting cold and it was getting late. We brought Aubergine inside, and they stored the moon filter in a safe place. My mom told me a story of how as a little girl she could imagine objects she could not see, and by concentrating real hard bring them closer and closer - to where she could almost touch them. Looking at the moon tonight reminded her of her youthful imagination. I think I inherited some of that ability to imagine and bring objects closer and closer - to where I can almost touch them. We didn't need the moon to share memories and stories tonight, but it provided a canvas for our imagination and a backdrop for our tales.


Jane Houston; last updated: October 04, 2007 Prev Next