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VSA Session II Star Party

Posted by on Monday, June 24, 2013 in VSA Blog.

We asked a few students to share some of their favorite experiences from VSA. In this reflection, a student in “A-House” talks about her Astronomy class’s “Star Party.*

I step out of the elevator with the rest of my class. It’s just after 8:00 on a warm Wednesday evening. In front of me, there’s a deserted parking deck, a spread of buildings, and a beautiful sunset.

The class crosses the lot and comes to a fenced-in area. Inside, we find about eight telescopes. We split into pairs and quickly learn that it is hard to find something through a telescope. After what feels like a small eternity, I focus on the moon.

I feel a thrill of elation and awe. I can see ever crater; the “dark side” is a black sliver of nothing. It is breathtaking.

The rest of the evening is a blur. I see Saturn’s rings and Ursa Major’s six-star system. I identify supernovae and constellations. I can’t help cheering when I locate the star Vega.

Far too early, it’s time to leave. The class takes the telescopes apart, everyone enthusing about what we’ve seen. I’m already counting the days until our next observing session.

*VSA policy is not to post the names of our students.