Going to the Observatory for the First Time

I had a great weekend, I would say. I went to Downing College Formal Hall with some Indonesian friends here, at Cambridge. Then, the day after, I went to an International Food Festival and tried different foods from different parts of the world: from jollof rice (Ghana), to mango lassi (India); from veggie bun (China), to milk tea (Thailand). After that, my friends here told me that we could go to observatory (!) which is located in West Cambridge area.

Going to observatory is on my lifetime bucket list.

Since I was little, I really wanted to go an observatory. My hometown, Bandung, has got one, it’s called ‘Observatorium Bosscha’. When I finally found the website last year, it was already fully booked for the next 1.5 years, and you should come with a group of at least 10 people. Besides, the website did not seem really reliable, so I gave up.

Why do I want to go to an observatory, though?

Of course, it’s because the movie that every Indonesians in my age watched when we were little, which is called ‘Petualangan Sherina’, or ‘Sherina’s Adventure’.
When my friend told me that we could sneak in to Astronomy Society of Cambridge University, I agreed right away. It was just 8 p.m., but it was already dark. The sky was clear, but the wind was quite strong. We cycled to West Cambridge, and the path to get there was really dark. I suddenly remembered that they purposely made the area around the observatory to be dark, so it’s easier to see the sky.
After we parked our bikes, we went inside a little ‘hut’ (I don’t really know what it’s called), and there was a telescope which was already set, so we could see the moon. 
Another bit, I actually have seen the moon through the telescope when I was in 5th/ 6th grade of primary school at the top of a tower in UPI (Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia). It was a part of our math olympiad camp for province level. I could remember clearly that the moon was reddish on that day.
On the other hand, the moon that I saw last night was bright and clear white, and I could see clearly the holes on the surface.
I wish I had a good camera to capture the beauty of it, and share it with you guys. Instead, I used my phone camera, tried really hard to make it focus on the eyepiece of the telescope, and this is what I got.

I know, it doesn’t look that beautiful.
Besides seeing the moon, we also saw several stars. They were in different colors, and I could see it clearly! Different colors indicate how hot the surface of the star is. However, I personally think the moon was the best, just because it’s so close and I could see the surface. The stars are no more than dots in the sky, which I can actually see with bare eyes.
The telescope, is really cool. 

I definitely want to have my own telescope in the future, of course if I have more than enough money to do so. I am going to place it in a beautiful place outside the town, and I will go there whenever I need self-reflection or quietness.
Because one thing I realized when I peeked the sky last night: humans are so small, we are just quarks of the universe (well, no, we’re not quarks, but you get what I mean).
It reminds me that there is God who controls everything in this world. It also reminds me that all my problems are just so small compared to how immense this universe is. 
In short, it’s a great way to put yourself back to sanity. 
Besides that, it reminds me that I need to look up and be aware of opportunities available around myself. I wouldn’t come here and cross out my bucket list, if I decided not to sit with my friends and hear about this opportunity during brunch. I wouldn’t see the moon and the stars, if I were not in Cambridge in the first place, or if I decided to go to bed early.
Man, life is beautiful, but why do I keep forgetting about this?


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