Apr 172011
 
Orion Nebula (NASA)

Mr. Astropotamus has a habit of walking outside and looking up at the skies at weird times.  Sometimes when it’s light, but mostly when it’s dark.  And sometimes, when it’s just dark enough, he walks outside, gives a little yell, and then runs back and forth from inside to outside a bunch of times to set up the Time Machine for a particularly awesome view of…well, whatever it is that made him yell.  Mrs. Astropotamus is not always quite as excited.

I got started too late this year to take pictures of it, but one of the most photographed objects in the sky, second only to the moon, is the deep space object called the Orion Nebula, also called M42.  It is the middle “star” of Orion’s belt.  To the naked eye, you may just barely be able to tell that it doesn’t look like all the other stars, but if you use a Time Machine, you can see a milky hazy about it and if you have a good Time Machine, a good eyepiece, good eyes, and good seeing, then you can make out the Trapezium, a cluster of four (actually, more) stars in the center.

The night that Mr. Astropotamus took his Time Machine out for the first time in 2011, he aimed it at the Orion Nebula.  Excited to see this deep space object so clearly, he told Mrs. Astropotamus that she had to come look at it.  She obliged…

…And came outside wearing her flannel PJs, Mr. Astropotamus’s “working outside” jacket, with her feet stuffed into his sandals that he uses for going into the dirt-floor basement.  Shuffling to the Time Machine, she stared through the eyepiece and said, “wowww!  I see [the Trapezium]!!”

Mrs. Astropotamus is always so cute when she comes out in the cold dark skies to glimpse the past through the Time Machine.  It makes Mr. Astropotamus seek out new things for her to see, so she’ll keep coming out and say “wow!”

Orion Nebula (NASA)

Orion Nebula (NASA)