i am looking for mars. he is quite elusive.
according to nasa, tonight is the closest mars and earth have been since nearly 60,000 years ago. (Mars in the Night Sky) Unless you’re a creationist, in which case, i guess it’s as close as it’s ever been. but i’m going to go with 60,000 years on this one.
i have a 5 inch reflecting telescope, which i’ve owned since i was about eleven. i used to like it mainly because it was big, fancy, red and shiny. it made me feel like i really was going to become an astronomer someday. that didn’t quite pan out… but i still have the telescope. unfortunately, i never figured out how to configure it correctly during set up, so that the declension and right ascension (celestial longitude and latitude) markers would actually make sense. this means that the only thing i have ever seen through it is the moon (although i have seen the moon looking quite close and spectacular). in comparison to the sky, stars are very small. planets are small too. i haven’t had the telescope out for years, but i figured with mars as bright as it is, it wouldn’t be too difficult to see. alas. i suppose my viewfinder scope thing isn’t quite lined up. and i’m sure i’ve got other problems i’m not even aware of. the older i get, the more apparent it is that i made a wise decision with my career choice. science and math were never my forte. the wonder of it all turns into numbers pretty quickly when you actually try and do something. but it is cool just to see a big red thing hanging there in the sky. go check it out in the next few nights if you get a chance. enough about space.

cyberspace. did you see the news about Bearcast internet radio? i hope we get a bunch of people tuning in tomorrow. sam, t, and i will feel quite lonely on the world wide web without you. they have some phone numbers listed too, and i believe michelle will be taking calls.lastly, but definitely not leastly (well it’s a word now), is the show on friday at the mad frog. again, this is sam’s performance. the last hurrah. the big shibang. the grande finale. i hope lots of people show up. we have something extra special planned. you have never seen anything like it at a JFK show. i guarantee it.joe

UPDATE: 1:30am
all that stuff i said about career choices–nevermind. i saw my first planet through a telescope. awesome. with the 20mm lense, and then the 6mm (lower number = higher magnification). now i know it’s just a matter of extreme patience. combing back and forth, up a hair, over 60 hairs, up a hair, over… unfortunately, it was slightly hazy and i didn’t see much definition. i did see an orange circle, instead of a small orange star. and that’s a step up. one day i will buy better lenses and i’ll be unstoppable. and we can have a big telescope party.