Last night the kids and I went looking for comet Pan-STARRS in the western sky. The day had been partly cloudy, and I worried that we would miss this event. But at around 7:00 PM the skies looked clear. So we jumped into the van and headed to the kids’ grandparent’s house where there was an unobstructed view of the horizon. And they have a telescope too! So we set up the telescope and brought out a couple pairs of binoculars.
Slowly the thin sliver of the crescent moon emerged. It was magnificant! But we were waiting for something more elusive. Finally, the small smudge of light appeared. We quickly aimed the telescope toward the cosmic wonder. It was amazing to see. And I was just as excited for my children to witness the comet as I was.
The telescope provided a good view, but my favorite view was through small binoculars. I could see the moon and the comet in the same view! I loved hearing my kids ooh and awe at the sight.
After the comet disappeared in the haze near the horizon, we turned the telescope on to the stars. I even caught two satelites passing across the sky.
It turned out to be a great evening. We’ll keep tracking the comet for as long as we can each evening.
It’s an amazing opportunity to witness the wonders of the universe.