A little over ten years ago, in my early twenties, I bought a telescope. It’s not much of a telescope, with only a four and one-half inch objective mirror. I was working a night shift at the time, and bought the telescope as a hobby for my nights off. For two or three years, I eagerly hauled it the back seat of my car to trips outside the city lights to remote off-ramps and dirt parking lots. I viewed all the planets I could see, the Jovian moons, the phases of Venus, star clusters and a few fuzzy galaxies. I had fun – and I learned.
After a few years, I gained other interests, and my curiosity brought me to my home planet. The telescope sat in a closet, sometimes disassembled, moved from house to house, and rarely used. It’s not that I lost interest in viewing the heavens – it’s that I felt I saw all that I could see with that scope, and upgrading required money that I did not have. I simply had too many other interests to invest in a larger telescope.
Now I am unemployed, and must sell items I no longer need or use often in order to pay bills. I saw the telescope in my closet, cleaned it and set it up to see that it still works, and pointed it at the sky one last time. I took a photo of the moon by pointing a simple digital camera through the eyepiece.
The picture is a little blurry, but decent considering the equipment I used. Now, many backyard telescopes have digital imaging and motorized tracking, features less common when I bought my scope. I would eventually like to get another telescope, but I know other priorities and interests will take precedence.
Sometime over the next few weeks, I will take one last photo of my telescope, and post it on Craigslist, probably ending an hobby that I will likely never explore again.