What are we talking about today?

Some days have themes. I don't necessarily post something in each of these topic areas every week.

Sunday: Church-related or spiritual things.
Monday: Running.
Tuesday: Books.
Wednesday: Transportation.
Friday: Green living.

17 September 2010

It's Astronomical

I did a lot of moaning over the summer about my astronomy class, mostly because it's outside my major and I was not that excited to discover, upon arriving at UT, that because of the funky way my credits transferred I still had 7 hours of science to take. That sadness is somewhat tempered by my joy at not having to take any more maths, except that science = math in my word-loving, number-hating brain.

However, I took astronomy because it has a fourth hour, a lab, that would enable me to meet my science requirement with only two classes, not three. (4+3=7; whaddya know, math isn't all bad) And now I'm taking the lab portion, every Monday evening for the entire semester.

The same TA from the summer class is teaching us-- more on him later-- so at least it's someone I'm familiar with. My classmates are-- how shall I say it-- interesting. In three weeks of a semester, I've already grown accustomed to only seeing fellow majors in my classes, so mixing with students from lots of fields one night a week is fun. And I've managed to give one of them a nickname: Guess I Was Wrong. More about him later, too, unless he suddenly becomes a sensible person.

So, I was actually here to tell you the cool part about this week's class. We went to the roof of the building after it got dark in the hopes of looking at the moon and Venus. But, our TA couldn't get his key to work to get out the telescopes, so he had to go fetch another grad student to help him, and then it took them a few minutes to get the telescopes set up. Meanwhile, the class was all gathered around the edges of the building, looking out a Austin all lit up for the night. It was a pretty cool sight, and if I remember next week, I'll take the camera along to get some pics.

And once the telescopes were finally ready, we got to look at the moon (Venus was hiding behind a cloud). I don't think I've ever looked through a proper telescope before-- the image was amazing. We could, as promised, see craters and mountains. And with the moon being just a crescent at the moment, we could see the line of shadow and a teensy bit beyond the shadow in the half-light, and beyond that was darkness. So. Cool.

One of the other ladies & I had been chatting, and so we were the last ones to look at the moon. As we left, we agreed: That was totally worth the wait.

Astronomy isn't so bad, after all.

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