Where My Love Of Astronomy Began

Hello and welcome to astronomyshack.com, the Astronomy gifts website.

Where It All Began

I guess my interest in Astronomy started with the moon landings (yes I am that old!)

I remember a time as a young kid having breakfast with my family, and listening to the morning news on the radio. The headlines were of the first manned moon landing, with Astronaut Neil Armstrong’s famous line, “That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind.”

It was an amazing time, and from then on, I was hooked.

A T.V programme called “The Sky At Night” enhanced my interest in all things spacey. It also doubled up as a good excuse to and stay up late on a school night! It’s still running to this day and has been a big part of my love of Astronomy.

At that time the presenter was a man called Patrick Moore, and as well as being an authority on the subject, I guess you could say he was the quintessential British eccentric.

He presented the show for an amazing 56 years, which made it the longest running show with the same presenter, in television history. His rapid patter and joyous enthusiasm was infectious, even though for the most part I didn’t get what he was talking about!

Some of the facts and theories were mind blowing. That was (and still is) part of the appeal to me.

The Gifts

One night after school, when I got home there was a letter for me.

I sat down and curiously opened the envelope thinking “who could be writing to me? I don’t get letters”. I was shocked when I realised it was from Patrick Moore.

I sat there re-reading the letter over and over again. I couldn’t understand why he was writing to me.

It was when my mum came home from work that she told me she had written to him to see if he could send me an autograph. He not only sent me an autograph but a great letter encouraging me to keep up my love of astronomy.

I considered it a fantastic gift and it’s now a very fond memory, both of Sir Patrick for the lovely letter, and of my dear Mum for knowing I’d be thrilled by it.

I’d already got my first telescope at this point. My Dad bought me a beginners refractor telescope with a small tripod and I absolutely loved it.

Mum, Dad and I would set up some ladders in the garden on many a cold winters night, and we’d perch the telescope’s small tripod on the ladders.

It was the first time I’d seen the moon through a telescope and was amazed at how clearly you could see the many craters.

Seeing Saturn’s rings and Jupiter for the first time was fantastic, although gently moving the telescope to keep these objects in view was certainly a challenge!

Creating Great Memories

I have some wonderful memories of those days.

That is, in no small part, why I’ve developed this website. I remember to this day how I felt getting my first telescope and I’d like someone with an interest in astronomy to have that same feeling.

Of course, it doesn’t have to be a telescope. It could be all sorts of things from books to duvet covers!

Do you have any great memories of an astronomy related gift either given or received? If so, I’d love to hear from you.

If you have any questions, feel free to leave them below and I will be more than happy to reply.

All the best,

Stu Clarkson


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