Monday, June 21, 2010

Storm-Gazing

For about a month I was looking forward to a stargazing ride which I had organized for this past Friday. If you live in Chicago, you know that my timing wasn't all that great. A very strong thunderstorm hit the city and knocked down trees, light poles and blew out windows in downtown high rises.

I pushed the time back and thought that no one would be showing up to do the ride. With that in mind I wore inappropriate shoes, didn't bring my camera and went to the meeting place. A few brave souls turned out afterall and by group consensus, we went ahead and did the ride...though we did follow a shorter route than initially planned.

Mercifully, we had very good timing. There were two storm fronts and we made it from Lincoln Square to Evanston in some nice pleasant weather. We watched some carp, saw the skyline and got some time to chill out. The sun set and the moon peaked between some clouds.

Unfortunately, it wasn't clear enough to get to use the telescope at Northwestern University's Dearborn Observatory. We did get to learn about the history of the telescope and got to see the dome turn and the telescope move, which was neat.

Towards the end of the presentation, we saw some lightening in the clouds and got ready to move on to dinner. We spent just a few minutes too long making a decision. As we left, the weather started to pick up. The wind was really blowing and right as we got to the restaurant in Evanston, it started pouring down rain.

However, we were able to enjoy some food and drinks in comfort while the worst of the storm blew over.

Northwestern University Stargazing nights are a must for me to do on a clear evening. Find information here.

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