9:00 p.m. 30 December 2002 PDT (2002–12–31–0500 UT)
We had a couple of friends over this evening for dinner and a nice wine, and the husband (I'm terribly sorry to say that I don't recall his name) went out with me for a looksee. As always, Saturn tops the list for first-timers, and it didn't disappoint. For a change this winter, the seeing was decent, and the Cassini Division was clear and crisp at 200x.
We spent a lot of time talking about how light pollution affects what you can see through the telescope, and he told me about the trips he had taken to dark sites, and although he hadn't spent much time looking through telescopes, he was still awed by what he could see with the unaided eye—as am I, whenever I get out there.
You'd expect that sometimes, I'd wish that people would come over only on mediocre nights, but there's something cool about being able to share a good night, too, even if it means you can't get any serious observing done.
Copyright (c) 2002 Brian Tung