Annie, get your camera!
Would you believe these images of our two nearest cosmic friends were captured using an inexpensive point-n-shoot?
But there’s an explanation required. The camera was a Lumix Panasonic DMC-FS3, a ten year old point-and-shoot which you can still get on E-Bay for a hundred bucks.
But I had a little extra technology out in front of it: an 8″ Meade Dobsonian telescope, with a 26mm Ploessl lens.
Basically, I held the camera up to the telescope eyepiece and snapped pictures. And dang! It worked.
I should add that the ‘scope had appropriate light filters – a variable polarizing filter screwed into the Ploessl lens to knock the moon’s light down by maybe 65%. And a Thousand Oaks solar filter reduced the sunlight by slightly more than that: maybe 10,000%. . .
Otherwise I’d have probably have a smoking hole where my left eye used to be.
Did I mention that I used duct tape?
What fine marriageable metaphors these make. Sun, meet moon! Day, meet night! Technology, meet duct tape. And Frank Butler, meet Annie Oakley!
Actually, I was once in a local production of Annie Get Your Gun. I played 1st trumpet in the orchestra pit. But because the Barboursville Players were short on tenors that year, I got pressed into service backing up Frank in “My Defenses Are Down,” covertly leaving the pit to appear onstage as one of the cowhands. A more self-conscious singing cowboy there never was.
But my favorite song from this old musical has always been “I Got the Sun in the Morning,” sung by Annie and company in Act II.
“Sunshine gives me a lovely day
Moonlight gives me the Milky Way
Got no checkbooks, got no banks
Still I’d like to express my thanks
I got the sun in the morning and the moon at night. . . ”
. . . and the stars, and the trees, and the mountains, and the dogs, and the books, and occasionally some cool technology, and the endless episodes of conscious living, and all the people around me to make life so very worthwhile.
“Still I’m happy with what I got.“