could not resist taking this photo of the Moon and Saturn
so close together on Monday evening. If you have good eyesight
and look closely, the rings of Saturn are just visible in
the shot (in the 7 o'clock to 1 o'clock position). I could
have gone in much closer to Saturn by photographing through
the telescope but wanted to capture both bodies in the same
field of view.
about the telescope above just jogged my memory, taking
me back to 1969, when I was a 15 year old boy. I have been
interested in astronomy for a very long time, since before
my early high school days and in 1969 I decided that I would
like to take photos through my 'Charles Frank' telescope
but did not know how to go about it.
'I know, I'll write and ask Patrick Moore,' I thought -
being an avid watcher of 'The Sky at Night'. (I still am
to this day.)
Patrick Moore, who has since been knighted, is a very nice
man and is one of the few famous people I actually like
so much that I would go out of my way to watch him! Below
the photo is the reply I received all those years ago, typed
on Sir Patrick's now world renowned manual typewriter and
obviously not long after he moved to his now famous house
Patrick did go on to help, putting me in touch with expert,
Commander Henry Hatfield at his solar observatory, whose
very technical response totally baffled a 15 year old schoolboy.
I believe that neither men realized that they were communicating
with one so young and inexperienced. I still have that 'Charles
Frank' Newtonian 4 inch reflector telescope (exactly the
same as the one Brian May of both 'Queen' and 'The Sky at
Night' keeps, for the same reason - nostalgia) to this day
and I keep Sir Patrick's reply in my box of most treasured
possessions. I can almost imagine the great man' s voice,
speaking this first response.
that age, the hormones soon kicked in and I went through
that obnoxious teenager phase, developing acne, rebelling
against my parents and dumping astronomy temporarily in
favour of girls and loud rock music. How I wish now that
we had kept in touch over the years!