Recently, my husband and I took a trip to a dark sky area of the United States. I had no idea what a difference it would make! The Milky Way was beautiful and I would love to see it in a dark sky much more often. Unfortunately, it is a long enough trip that it spans several days.
To help us out, some friends have been gracious enough to let us use their land at a nearby reservoir to practice astrophotography. My husband is the photographer. I’m along to keep him company. But what I actually do, is star gaze and use my imagination. You know, the what if game. What if there are aliens looking back? What does it feel like to be a constellation? Does Orion ever get tired of holding his bow? And what would pour out of Sagittarius’ spout? I hope hot chocolate. Do the stars get to sleep during the day? Play hooky and visit their neighbors? It’s all a mystery.
My imagination runs on the absurb side, much like a child’s. That’s why I write for children. Things don’t have to be facts. Children try to make their universe what they would like. Those things that adults forget – have recess, take a nap, pretend to fly. I love that about youth.
One of my favorite movies is Contact with Jodi Foster. In the movie, she is at the Very Large Array near Socorro, New Mexico. When I saw the movie, I knew I wanted to visit some day. We did make the trip on our “Dark Sky” tour. We both want to go back. It’s awesome for all the dreamers, the imaginers, the hopefuls, those of us that hope there are others out there. Otherwise, “It’s an awful waste of space.”
Here is one of the 28 radio telescopes working on site. They are about 90′ tall.