That First-Time Saturn Moment . . .

It’s the best thing about doing this.

“Would you like to see Saturn?”

“Saturn? The one with the rings?”

“That’s right. You can actually see the rings for yourself.”

“You’re kidding.”

“I’m serious. Take a look.”

He steps up to the eyepiece. I help him position his eye just right. I explain that the image will be small, smaller than he probably expects. “And it won’t look like Hubble Space Telescope photos. Just give your eye a chance to adjust to what you’re actually seeing and then –“

“No way.”

“You see it?”

“Oh, my GOD!”

“Yup, you see it!”

He spends a few minutes at the telescope. I help him identify Titan, one of Saturn’s moons. Finally, he says, “My girlfriend has got to see this.”

She stands a short distance away, talking on her phone. He rushes over, takes her hand, and leads her to the telescope. He points to Saturn in the sky, says a few mixed words of English and Spanish to her, and then helps her look into the eyepiece.

Before I can say anything, she gasps. “Dios mio!”

She laughs with delight, then looks up again at Saturn in the sky. I snap a photo – the one above.

Later, as they’re leaving, I thank them for stopping by – in English.

She smiles and shakes her head at me. He explains, “She doesn’t speak any English. And I don’t speak any Spanish!”

“That seems challenging.”

He laughs. “We make it work.”

It ended up being a first-time Saturn evening for several other people, as well.

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