Give a Mouse a Telescope

If you give a mouse a telescope, he’s going want to collect photons.

When he collects some photons and realizes that the photons are not forming an image, he’s probably going to ask for an eyepiece. And then he’ll realize that he needs a tripod and mount to hold his telescope steady.

Now that he has a clear image, he’ll want to see more objects, so he will probably ask for a goto system. He’ll find more objects than ever with his goto system. He might get carried away and search for every object in the Messier catalog. He may even end up observing all of the objects in the NGC catalog as well.

After he’s been out all night observing these wonders, he’ll probably want a warm place from which to observe. You’ll have to build an observatory for him. He’ll crawl in, make himself comfortable, and clean his optics a few times.

He’ll probably ask you to read him a story about the Moon and planets. So you’ll read to him from one of your books and he’ll ask to see the pictures. When he looks at the pictures, he’ll get so excited that he’ll want to make some of his own.

He’ll ask for a for a nice camera and start capturing sub frames for a stacked image. When the sub frames are finished, he’ll want to process them with Photoshop or Pixinsight. Then he’ll want to post his picture online, which means that he will need a Flickr or Cloudy Nights account.

He’ll post his stacked image, and stand back and look at it, and realize that his pictures do not have enough detail. It occurs to him that more aperture and focal length are a way to make this better.

Chances are, he’s going to want a bigger telescope.

© James R. Johnson, 2021


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