It is not just the act of a single observation of the heavens that is significant. When an observer begins to step back and consider what has been seen and recorded, a period of observation begins to take on a larger view. As we teach teachers how to observe the heavens, we encourage them to direct their students to observe accurately but also to step back and consider what has been seen. Further, we encourage them to consider a number of observations. The two observations cited below are an example. Their real value to me occurred several days after the actual observations. I appreciate them more today than I did when I actually observed.
On July 27 the evening was filled with low clouds, high humidity, and not a breath of wind. It was hot. The stars were “peeking” through some of the holes but the holes in the clouds kept moving. This makes for very quick observing and sketching. The sketch shows two views captured during an hour of sitting but each view took only 5 minutes to develop.
I could faintly see these two popular star clusters–one high overhead and one near the southern horizon. Antares (in the upper view) was dancing due to the intervening atmosphere.
The night before was entirely different because it was clear and dryer. I had used a telescope with an astro video camera to study and sketch the Trifid Nebula (M20). The living color was beautiful; the transitions from whites to flaming pinks, purples, and blues was enjoyable to capture. You can see the story and Trifid sketch by going to this address: http://christworksministries.org/inspiration_trifid_beauty. One view is at 8 power; the second view is at 114X. I could add a third and study something with my eyes alone. Each one covers a different field, sees things in a different way, and has unique value. Each one observes our created heavens and points to the One who made them. As the value of observing is learned, the method of obtaining the view is less important than understanding that each one shows His handiwork at a different magnitude of a visual scene. And, there is not a magnitude with which we can observe where there is not something to see. It shows the never-ending depth of God’s hand. As the scriptures state, it is unsearchable with respect to its limits. Yet, he chooses to draw us to himself as the heart questions: how can this all be?
I have an answer. He loves us. If we choose to desire to know Him above all things, He will make himself known. Consider the heavens like a signpost–a very large complex sign post that stands tall and above everything with language that is universal. Psalm 19:1