June 2003 Cocachacra, Peru - Now, "how on Earth" did I take this picture??? Well, first it WAS taken here on Earth and second, it WAS also taken by me. For Christmas of 2002, I bought myself a telecsope. No, its not that I was being selfish, its that I could not have it sent to Peru, it had to be sent to my house and it was most practical for me to receive it in the states when I would be home for Christmas so I could send it to myself in Peru. There was also the added benefit of having the chance to play with my new toy. Anyway, I ever so briefly joined an astronomy club in Lima in June of 2003 and I went observing with them one weekend in the desert mountains of Cocachacra about an hour and a half away East of Lima. I have looked at the moon many times in the past, mostly though a refracting telescope my dad bought me, I think, when I was 11. But I have never seen such a sharp, clear image of the moon as clear as I saw it that night. It was facinating to look at. Normally, the group goes observing at the time of the month when there is no moon in the sky (called a New Moon) so the sky was as dark as possible but a few of the members were sick the weekend before (I lived there long enough, I could relate). So we went observing the following weekend and as a consequence, there was a half moon in the sky. When I bought my telescope, I also bought a special adapter made only for my model camera (Kodak dc4800). Special hardware such as that, no matter how simple, carries a hefty price tag: $100 in this case. To date, I have taken exactly 2 pictures with it, this one and another that was a little over exposed. So this picture cost me $50 but you get to see it for free. Aren't I generous?? :-) Physically observing objects in the sky has proved to be rather unexciting for me which is why I have not done much of it since I bought my telescope but I do peek at the planets on occation when they are viewable from the living room of my apartment. Maybe some time later when I live again in a more suitable location to observe casually, I'll use it more often.