Lights Out, Stars On

To fully see what’s going on, it’s lights out at Perkins Observatory.  And once the lights are dimmed, any light source such as a cell phone or camera flash is strictly taboo, garnering the same kind of disapproving glare as singing aloud with your mp3 player at the gym might bring.  Our pupils react almost immediately to light, dilating in darkness and contracting with light.  The flicker from one person’s text message could be enough to spoil another enthusiast’s viewing experience —and you won’t want to be the one blinding another to their pristine view of the Pleiades Cluster!

We were forewarned by self-proclaimed “Astro-Nerd” Tom Burns about the importance of maintaining the darkness and the wisdom of walking slowly and counting steps.  He reminded us that ambulance lights can really mess up one’s telescopic view of Mars!  He worked the crowd like a pro during an informative and utterly entertaining orientation with an enthusiasm that added a showmanship flair to the science of astronomy.

More on our Perkins Observatory tour to come…

Perkins Observatory: Call ahead for reservations (740-363-1257). Public programs most Friday nights. Private group visits available. Click Google Map link below for more information.

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Columbus Family Travel

10 Comments to Lights Out, Stars On

  1. Texting during movies has got to stop. A person may as well bring a flashlight to the theater and shine it around.

    Singing in the gym, however, I’m cool with that. So long as it’s classic rock… and nobody should ever try to do a solo version of Boom Boom Pow (or whaterver it’s called).

  2. We can see “more” in the darkness.

    It is really an out-of-box thought.

  3. Observatories offer great travel experiences. I can’t wait to read more about your trip to Perkins Observatory. Sure hope everyone really did turn off their cell phones.

  4. Enjoyed the post and shared it on the Perkins Observatory Facebook page.

    Looking forward to the rest.

  5. Still recall several visits I took to the New York Planetarium when I was a kid. Magical! There’s a great scene in “Rebel Without A Cause” that takes place in a Planetarium/Observatory.

  6. I’ve heard that one can see the stars better when there are no lights around.

  7. Delmer: A cell phone glow where it’s not supposed to be is always a little annoying. As for the gym singing… it’s usually humming, I guess, with a few rhythmic head bobs and grimaces. Don’t run into it every day -but it’s always memorable. Maybe if we had singing and non-singing zones? Might want to subdivide the singing zone into music genres…
    Rainfield: A highly transferable and applicable thought, to be sure.
    Donna: People seemed to behave themselves. Once it was identified as a somewhat selfish act, no one wanted to interfere with another viewer’s experience. I got a terrific photo of the big telescope that I’ll post next time!
    Jay: You’re the one Tom identified as having held every position in the Columbus Astronomical Society “except Treasurer”, right? I appreciated your pointing out that special star in the entrance ceiling. Glad you were able to share this on Facebook!
    Nothing Profound: “Magical” is the word. I’d been dazzled by planetarium shows in years past but never before had the opportunity to actually look through a giant(!) telescope at the Moon and Mars. I can see why star gazing becomes a part of peoples’ lives. Engrossing and inspiring!
    Graham: Light pollution is a growing issue. Star gazing at Perkins is a lot more exciting than it is from just a few miles to the south. One of my favorite things about our national parks is the spectacular unpolluted night skies one finds within them.

  8. Gil

    Great travel experiences.

  9. There’s an awful lot to see and enjoy, Gil!

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