On Saturday night, we were both craving some time together. We were planning on curling up in bed with a movie and falling asleep early. However, when we were letting the dogs out one last time I noticed an extremely bright star. D.J. pointed out that it wasn't a star, but a planet. Curiosity got the best of me and I convinced him that if we bundled up and had big mugs of hot chocolate that busting out the telescope would be a perfect "date" and exactly what we needed. So we did just that. He got out the digital telescope, I made hot chocolate, the dogs got confused. We trekked to the far corner of the yard and set up shop. I've seen pictures from telescopes, but never looked through one with my own little eye. We checked out the moon first and I was amazed! You could sit there and watch it move! I don't know how many times I said, "WOW!" that night, but I'd be willing to bet it reached in the hundreds. After a good amount of time checking out the moon, we focused the telescope on the mystery planet. The first time we got it in the view finder, we couldn't tell which one it was but we could see no fewer than ten moons all lined up on either side of it. They were perfectly straight!! As we zoomed in with the stronger lenses, we realized that the booger was booking it across the sky! It stayed in view for only a few seconds before it was gone again. This made it impossible to bring it into focus, but it was amazing never the less!! After a bit of Internet research (thanks to that handy dandy invention known as the iPhone!), we decided that we were looking at Jupiter. D.J. says that in the summer time it's easier to see the planets and that on a clear night you can actually zoom in on Jupiter's big red spot. (He also says that you can see Saturn's rings! Now that's a sight I can't WAIT to see!)
As we sat in awe, we couldn't stop humming the tune to "Invisible God" by Andrew Peterson. It's become a favorite of ours and remains on the iPod/iPhone/CD player at all times! If you've never heard it or if you just haven't heard it in a while, check it out at http://www.andrew-peterson.com/ There's a music player in the top right corner. Scroll through the songs until you get to "Invisible God". Close your eyes, sit back, and let God's beauty and majesty wash over you. It's so worth it! You won't regret it - I promise. Don't worry, I'll be here when you get back. Now go! (We had this song at our wedding while we took communion and then played it non-stop as we looked at the breath-taking scenery on our honeymoon!)
It was a wonderful evening just marveling at God's handiwork a gazillion miles away. What amazing wonders He's tucked away for us to discover!
Random question of the day: If there's no telescope on Earth powerful enough to see the American flag on the moon (or the spaceship garbage left up there) how is it that we get pictures of other galaxies and stars being born and we know there's no land on Jupiter - just gas? Why can't we get a good picture of Mercury, but we know all about Pluto and the other couple of planet/rock things circling the sun beyond Pluto? And while we're on the subject, why isn't Pluto a planet anymore? They totally messed up the whole "My very excellent mother just served us nine pizzas" thing! I mean, without the "pizza" part, it doesn't even make sense! I think the scientific community is just trying to mess with our heads... Anyway - I digress.
Go check out Andrew Peterson's song. And while you're there, stroll through the music store. He is an amazing song writer with songs that stir the soul. Just trust me on this one!