The Zillion Star-Hotel

1 Aug

The moon is right-side-up in Australia — least you try to tell anyone here it’s
up-side-down — and about a week ago I drove to Darby Falls to visit what Lonely Planet presents as “the best place in all of Australia to star-gaze.” It ended up being not quite the “observatory” I was expecting and more like ‘Mark’s backyard’.

Mark hand-built that 16" microscope.

Mark hand-built that 16″ microscope.
I’m no expert but I don’t think he’s converted 16″ correctly.

No one else showed up to the inconveniently-located observatory that night so I had a private, extensive tour of the breath-taking night sky Down Under.

* * * * **** * ********* ******
There are 100 billion stars in our galaxy
and over 100 billion galaxies.

* * * * **** * ********* ******

This is a guy who believes that the theory of evolution is…er, how do you say…? Right.

We saw a red star, a blue star, a yellow star, and the rings around Saturn. After telling me that I’m not the center of the universe (ouch) Mark suggested we sleep outside. As if he was suggesting something as conventional as eggs for breakfast he went on to convince me, “It’s good when the moon is this bright because the snakes are shiny in the grass”. In Turkey I learned to say yes. So in the private casino of my (current) Australian mind (these blokes love to gamble) I hedged my bets and muzzeled my objections: We rolled out our sleeping bags. And I survived. While I can’t say with certainty that having more leg room was worth the fear I felt every time I woke up, I can confirm that the hot shower in the morning (my first in 5 days) absolutely was.

I left soon after, clean and full of wonder — and drank a coke-a-cola because none of it really matters anyway.

2 Responses to “The Zillion Star-Hotel”

  1. deekerson August 1, 2014 at 2:36 am #

    You say there are 100 billion stars in our galaxy and over 100 billion galaxies, but also, heaven knows, new stars continue to form all the time.

  2. dougpal2 August 1, 2014 at 4:08 pm #

    You’re killing it!!!

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