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Letter and Poetry from one special guest!

I was on the star gazing trip of the last new moon. Thank you! It was wonderful!

I am a painter and I write a newsletter from time to time--really more of a meditation letter--and this one was about my experience on that star gazing trip.

By the way, if you are ever in Moab, Utah, near the Arches and Canyonlands National Parks, I encourage you to get in touch with Alex at Redrock Astronomy. He can lead you through the amazements of both stars and dinosaur bones. He was our star guide that evening.

Thanks again for making that evening something I will remember forever.

POEM

“When I was a kid, they told me in school that science was about truth, and poetry was about beauty, and that the two had nothing to do with each other.

But on the night of the last new moon I was in the Utah desert, about 6,500 feet above sea level, looking at Neptune through a telescope. It was a blue green pearl that occupied an apparently empty spot near the horizon and it was both ravishing and true. There were not many empty spots in that sky so full of stars that I was casting a fragile shadow on starlight alone. Our guide for the evening turned the telescope on various amazing things and told us the scientific facts as we gazed up, intoxicated. It seemed like the night sky could not contain its own intensity and meteors kept leaking out of heaven and flashing to earth. I must have seen 15 or 20 of them.

The night sky in its depths is our common vocabulary of the sacred, now, in the 21st Century. You don't have to talk anybody into it, we all just feel that way no matter what cultural/political point of planet Earth we have our particular roots. The galaxies, the nebulae, the star clusters, the comets, the dark matter, the millions of blazing suns sparkling through the earthly atmospheric haze that shields us in our waking hours from all that time and the distance, and then opens up at night--this is our soul's home. You don't even have to understand the math. You can feel it.”

— Jess Beyler
Guest September 2013

Thank you, Jess!

More of Jess’s poetry/artwork can be viewed here.

Alex,

We were in your viewing group in June with our granddaughter, Sophia. Please know that you made a real impression on our granddaughter. Since the trip she delights in finding satellites, has taken the sky (astronomy) session at her Science Camp, and is always looking at the stars at night and giving anyone who will listen various explanations.
You used amazing equipment that night and you made an impression on our granddaughter and anything (including books - she is in 5th grade next school year) recommended is appreciated.

Thank you very much,
—Email from Sandy

“Thank you again for a wonderful evening.  It was the highlight of our entire trip.”
Don and Betty, November 2012

“We were on one of your star gazing tours the night of September 19.  I thought it was really first rate and wanted to thank you for doing such a good job!

You are full of interesting information and can communicate it easily to people with diverse backgrounds, knowledge, and interests.  And you can do it without making anyone feel stupid or inferior while at the same time keeping it interesting for people who know a bit about the topics.  That is quite a unique talent.  (As an aside to maybe help you remember....in our group there was a guy that continuously called you Andy.  After correcting him a few times you then let it slide without any animosity.  Most people would have been offended.)

I thought your comments brought life and meaning to the things we got to see.  And the chance to look through such a fine telescope was quite educational.  

If you ever want to use customers comments either on your web page or in any advertising (I know you don't do much) please feel free to use any of mine.  
 
Thanks for the wonder and education time.”

Tom October 2012

“The tour really made me understand and appreciate my place in the universe and helped me to gain a perspective I didn’t have before…My favorites were the star clusters….”
— BW from Salt Lake City

“I came from the light polluted Florida skies here to Moab – I am stunned at the difference and how beautiful the night sky is here with so much more of the Milky Way visible!”
— Family of 4 /Florida

“What dark & clear skies you have here in Moab”
— Francois’, guest and fellow astronomer visiting from France
“Thank you for showing me Jupiter and its moons! It is my favorite….I counted 4 moons!”
— Area Girl Scout Group

“I have always wanted to see the stars through a telescope – I am not able to at home…”
— 9-year old A.J. from Germany

“Thank you for all the different pointers on using my own telescope….you have such great, clear skies here…!”
— RC Group/Australia

“Stunning trip – I was impressed with how beautiful the distant galaxies were. I am recommending this trip for my college science trip…”
— GR/Canada