It was a nice night. Long Island can be beautiful at times and this night was one of them. Cool air, dark blue sky with an overcast. The overcast would be an issue as we were to head to the http://www.custerobservatory.org out in Southhold Long Island. But still, out east on the island there is something of a country peace.
First Agent Law-Talk-Guy and Agent Ophelia were picked up and then a straight run to Riverhead to pick up Agent Speedhobbit who recently got her MLS and her friend Britt. There were also Guinea Pigs.
After a few games it was off to the observatory to find Agent Chi who got us in for a nice tour.
We were in our element.
If you haven’t been to the Custer Observatory you are missing out. The observation of the stars comes naturally to our species. Aside from assigning the celestial as our original both theological and as panspermia, aside from the inspiration of and for myth, the seemingly ancient political out fall of geoocentrism there is something to just looking at light millions of years old. And you wonder what our species made of being under the dazzling sky long ago.
There is much info on the Custer Institute & Observatory, I’ll provide links. But here is what is not in the links.
In the dark there is a building with a red light out front. I wasn’t sure if this was a bordello, a secret society meeting, or something crazier. But no, it was the right place.
When you walk it, it feels like an old church. You walk down an isle with chairs on either side, where you’ll walk through a door, up through narrow stairs until you are in the dome. There a large telescope holds the center stage under a huge metal dome. When the hatch opened I felt like I was inside a huge piggy bank and a comically large quarter would slide in…it was odd.
But was too cloudy for the stars but our tour guide was undeterred. One of the amazing thing of the Custer Observatory is there library. Again, down the stairs, red lights, then white light and we are in something of a medieval room, round and filled with books. The place seemed somehow familiar, it dark and small but not oppressive, the building is solid, there was a feeling of being shielded from the outside.
Indeed, the domes are there for that reason, to enjoy the stars year round without being at the mercy of the relentless elements.
In the basement the tools again seem medieval, but they aren’t. No, but the tools of craftsmanship are there, everywhere evidence of grinding and tinkering. Even the radio antenna room, small but still charming with its functionality. It was work space for space. The place has an academic atmosphere of toiling monk, it’s refreshing.
It’s refreshing because people from all different walks of life volunteer to make it the Observatory happen. The place exists out of passion, red is the perfect color for the glowing lights that welcome you.
Outside in the back there are some small domes and what seems like a secret base with giant binoculars…because there were a pair of giant binoculars. And as we got out, the sky cleared and for a while we saw light in a magnificent telescope.
There is too much light pollution in much of where I travel but Southold is nice and dark. And when you see light millions of years old, you wonder. Yea, you become pensive because the fact you are on a rock in space comes to the forefront. That we are all on this rock together, in space, spinning, always moving. The day to day melts, this is why you should go, to remind yourself of your place in the universe.
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