Staring at the Suns

What I’ve learned as an amateur astronomer. /

“We saw his star when it rose and have come to worship him.”

—Matthew 2:2

I was not always interested in astronomy. But that changed one night in high school, when my younger brother asked me to take a peek through a small telescope that he had received as a birthday gift. As I peered through the telescope, I instantly recognized the planet Saturn! There, before my very eyes, was the ringed planet. For the first time in my life, I was observing a distant astronomical object—not as a picture in a book or an image on television, but by direct observation. I was transfixed. It was an experience that ignited in me a lifelong passion for astronomy.

During my first two years of college, I became an agnostic and then an atheist. But I never lost my interest in astronomy. And then, in my junior year in college I experienced a Damascus Road conversion to Christianity. My interest in astronomy blossomed. No longer was I limited to appreciating beautiful colors and patterns, and contemplating size and scale. I was apprehending the handiwork of God! It felt like astronomy was putting me in physical contact with the Creator.

Soon after graduating from Harvard Law School, I purchased my first telescope, an 8-inch Celestron. Over the ensuing years I upgraded several times, eventually purchasing a 20-inch reflector telescope that was so large I had to use a ladder to peer through the eyepiece. The views were so spectacular that I often experienced vertigo.

I subscribed to a few astronomy magazines over the years, and was amazed by the photos that amateurs were taking through their telescopes. I longed to do the same. I carefully acquired new telescopes and cameras designed for imaging. Taking quality pictures ...

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Also in this Issue

Issue 38 / December 24, 2015
  1. Editor’s Note

    Issue 38: Virgin births in the animal kingdom, a modern Wise Man’s journey, and the womanhood of creation. /

  2. Virgin Births Happen All the Time

    Birds do it. Bees do it. Snakes, sharks, lizards, and lots of other animals do it solo too. /

  3. Why Mary Is So Blessed

    An Orthodox theologian describes how the Mother of God is what all creation was created to be. /

  4. Noel

    “We hear and sing / The customary carols” /

  5. Wonder on the Web

    Issue 38: Links to amazing stuff.

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