Blog on the Run: Reloaded

Saturday, January 24, 2004 9:50 pm

First the ladder, then Mars

Filed under: Fun,Victoria — Lex @ 9:50 pm

Victoria and I went earlier tonight to the monthly astronomy open-house at Guilford College here in town; tonight’s program, “Mission to Mars,” dealt with the logistics and calculations needed to set the two rovers down on the Red Planet (the second is scheduled to signal its touchdown a little more than two hours from now; info available here).

Although the presentation was aimed largely at adults, V. seemed to get significant chunks of it, including the whole purpose of the mission (on which a number of adults in the audience of about 80 seemed somewhat clueless), and she very quietly asked lots of good questions. After the presentation, we went upstairs to the Cline Observatory to look at Saturn through the 16-inch telescope and at Mars through a smaller telescope set up on the observation deck just outside the observatory.

To peer into the observatory’s 16-inch telescope, you had to climb up a 6- or 7-foot stepladder. V. got about 3/4 of the way up and then decided that that was too high for her, but once back outside, she eagerly looked at Mars through the smaller scope and also was impressed with the lights of Piedmont Triad International Airport, a few miles west. She wasn’t sorry to miss Saturn when Mars was the point of the show, and she told me afterward, “Thank you for taking me, Daddy. I liked it and enjoyed it.”

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