Elise and I went out on a date this past Wednesday. We left out apartment around 7 p.m. and waited an hour or so on the Congress bridge to watch the bats fly out. That was something we both hadn’t done in years. If memory serves us both correctly, we could have sworn that the bats used to fly out earlier. It was almost too dark to see them.
Since we were in the neighborhood, we went to TGI Fridays for dinner. Since most dinners out are portioned too large, we both ordered appetizers and had a couple drinks on the patio.
After dinner we headed over to the Robert Lee Moore Hall on campus to see Mars through the jumbo telescope. We waited in line for over an hour before a graduate student/volunteer tried to convince everyone that Mars will be just as viewable for the next three weeks. Elise and I decided to wait it out since we had already been in line for so long.
Fifteen minutes later, the same graduate student came and told everyone that there were smaller telescopes on the roof and that if we wanted to, we could follow her (cut in line) and see Mars through less powerful telescopes. Elise and I opted for that idea. After ascending the side of the line of people, we realized that we would have been in line for at least another hour.
We made it to the rooftop, waited five minutes in line to use a smaller (but more powerful than any lay person might own) telescope. Talk about a letdown. Elise and I took our turns and looked through the lens. As we were leaving, we concurred that we were gypped. We saw what looked like a star. Just a bright spot in the viewfinder. Boooooring.
We’re going to try to go back on one of the upcoming Wednesdays to see Mars through the big telescope – rumor has it that you can make out the surface of the planet and see the polar ice cap.