Jan 16

Skyward February 2023 David H. Levy – Back to the Moon

Skyward February 2023 David H. Levy Back to the Moon I shouldn’t have been surprised by the complete success of the Artemis mission last fall.  NASA’s A team of engineers really know what they are doing.   The mission was fun to watch, particularly the brilliant light when the msain engines lit up,  and it provided some hope that we may actually return to the Moon, someday soon. But somehow, it isn’t the same.  Something is missing. For those of us who were alive and young in 1961, do you remember President Kennedy’s poignant speech to Congress on May 25, 1961, when he asked the nation to commit itself to landing a person on the Moon?  Only three days after my 13th birthday,  this was a call I heard distinctly.  I did miss the fact that this was the second of three speeches. The fireest call was during his inaugural address:  “Let both sides seek to invoke the wonders of science, instead of its terrors.   Together let us explore the stars…”  And at Rice University he gave his third:  “We choose to go to the Moon.” On August 25 of the summer of 1960,   I  observed a 99.2% partial eclipse of […]

Dec 16

Skyward January 2023 David H. Levy

“When sorrows come, they come not single spies, But in battalions.” (Hamlet 4.5.76-77) This column begins with a delightful quotation from Hamlet, where King Claudius reflects on the deaths of Hamlet’s father, Polonius, and the madness of Ophelia. In this lonely period of my own life, the one constant I have is being able to continue doing the stargazing that I love so much. In recent months, the losses of Don Machholz, Constantine Papacosmas, and Wendee have tested the strength of observing the night sky as never before. But I must add to this the passing of my closest friend from my youth, Carl Jorgensen, on October 18. Of these four transitions that occurred late this year two of them—Don and Carl, both died from Covid. This is strong evidence that we are nowhere near being done with this dreadful illness. Our lifelong friendship began in November of 1963. I had just returned from a 14-month stay at the Jewish National Home for Asthmatic Children in Denver. At the observatory of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada in Montreal, Isabel Williamson introduced “young Carl Jorgensen” to “young David Levy” and our friendship never wavered over 59 stargazing years after that. […]

Nov 20

Skyward – December 2022 By David H. Levy

As I get older and older, the list of people who depart gets longer and increases with a greater frequency. But now I find myself writing, for the third month in a row, about the loss of someone who meant a lot to me and without whom I do not know how I will continue my own journey through the night sky. Constantine Papacosmas introduced himself to me the first night I entered the old observatory of the Montreal Centre of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada. The young observer had just completed a truly fabulous 8-inch reflector which we used once or twice. At that time he was brilliant, creative and inspiring. Within a few years we had become great friends and we spent a lot of time together.  One afternoon while walking down a hill to my junior high school classes, a car passed me, then slammed on its brakes about 300 meters away. Putting the car in reverse, the driver screeched backward until it reached me. “Hello David!” It was Constantine. You might have read a few months ago the story of how I got my own 8-inch reflector, Pegasus. It was a loaner scope. By the […]

Nov 9

SAU Menke Public Nights

Public Nights at Menke Observatory! Weather Permitting, check our Facebook for the latest! Sundown – ???

Nov 9

QCAS Public Night

QCAS Public Night Sundown – ??? Weather permitting, check out our Facebook for the latest!

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