Tales From Under the Starry Sky – Week 4

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This week we have a wonderful contribution from Michael Sheehy. 

Mike has been in the HAA for 3 years now, joining after his retirement from a career that began with both an Engineering degree (Mechanical) and a Masters of Business from McMaster and led to senior levels in the manufacturing industry. 

You might have seen Mike observing out at Binbrook, but he has an even better observing story than many of us.  While many members from the HAA travelled to Missourri to see the total solar eclipse of 2017 only to be clouded out, Mike went his own way and enjoyed a beautiful clear sky and a spectacular eclipse from Kentucky. 

Today, Mike shares with us a story that many of us can relate to.  Here now, are his words…

“My introduction to Astronomy is plain and simple…science fiction television shows in the 1960’s.  I was only 10 years old and watched “Lost in Space”, “Star Trek”, “Time Tunnel”, “Land of the Giants”, “Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea”, etc.

Being raised in Greensville, we had no library at that time and I took advantage of my sister’s weekly trip to the Dundas Armoury (now Dundas Community Centre) where she took majorette lessons every Saturday morning.

A walk down to the Dundas Library for three Astronomy books (the maximum on any one subject) and a return three weeks later for three more.

Sometimes the subject material was very challenging.  What ten year old knows about “scientific notation” or “logarithms”?  I taught myself and certainly, high school math was so much easier years later!

I exhausted the Children’s and Adult’s holdings within a year.  On attending McMaster University, I looked at the stacks / shelves of Astronomy books (material that I could never consume in a lifetime).  I suddenly felt diminished.  I feel everyone should feel diminished once in their lives to keep us humble.

I have been blessed to have travelled this world…Asia, South America, Europe, North America; yet, where ever I am, I go out at night to look skyward for comfort.

While I realize that I may not understand the country or language that I am currently in, I do not see diamonds of stars on the black velvet of the night’s sky; I see familiar friends who have accompanied me on my journey.

That foreign sky always tells me about a ten year boy on Short Road in Greensville trying to figure out the constellations and major stars so very long ago.

Everyone please take care and please continue to smile.”

Mike Sheehy

Thank you to Mike for sharing with us today.  If you would like share a story about yourself just email me.  Anything from how you got started and inspired, to your favourite night sky sight.

Take care and stay safe.