It's 1:30 am, and I just came in from checking out Jupiter and four of its moons in my little telescope. It was even cooler than when I first looked at Saturn just after getting the telescope a few months ago.

The moment it appeared in the eyepiece, before even focusing, I immediately recognized what I'd seen in pictures online. After tweaking the focus, if I focused my eye just right, I could clearly see two dark cloud bands running across it just above and below the equator. My wife wasn't asleep quite yet when I first found it, so I called her out, and once she could see the cloud bands, she thought it was prety cool too.

I learned something a few days ago that I hadn't known before. There a galaxy, that, if we could see it (if it were bright enough) would appear six times as large as the moon in the sky! I always thought all other galaxies were so far away that they looked about as big to us as the stars in the Milky Way. How cool would it be if we could just look up and night and see the spiral arms of another galaxy!

Actually, thinking about it was a little weird -- like it was looming up there in the sky, not nearly so far away as we'd thought, waiting to reach out one of its spiral arms and grab us.

Next I want to spot a nebula. I might have looked around a little more tonight, but clouds rolled in and blocked out everything.