Welcome to my blog, where I take pleasure in words and pictures, be they my own or those of others. I'm a creative individual, and the crafty side I explore on my 'other blog', Picking Up The Threads, which I hope you'll visit too. I'm sure you understand that I have sole copyright of my original work and any of my contributions, so please ask if you want to use them. A polite request is rarely refused. So, as they used to say on the BBC's 'Listen With Mother' radio programme, many years ago: "Are you sitting comfortably? Then we'll begin."

Saturday, 1 March 2014

Telescoping Effect

The term ‘telescoping effect’ is used in cognitive psychology whereby people perceive recent events as being more remote than they are, and distant events as being more recent than they are. The former is known as ‘backward telescoping’ or 'time expansion’ and the latter as ‘forward telescoping’. If you’re interested in the scientific explanations of this field of study, it’s all there in the web. In some ways Sepia Saturday is about forward telescoping as we bring events from the past nearer to the present.

Seal Harbour, Glengarriff, County Cork, Ireland, 25th August 1998

There are no sepia photographs of telescopes in the family album, which is surprising as the model being used my husband in the picture above, is his childhood telescope. It was given to him by his parents after a trip to New York in 1958. He still has it but these days he uses the binoculars, given to him by his colleagues on his retirement, to view both the passing ships in the Bocaina Straits, and the more distant heavens. On our Ireland trip we must have both been very relaxed, whilst my husband is enjoying his hobby I was indulging in mine, and some of you will remember this from my companion piece on my other blog, A Stitch in Time, where I recall the blackberrying and the chat with local dogwalker.


The Glengarriff ferry is possibly what was being viewed through the lens of the telescope, as I took the photograph above at the same time. These days it’s the Fred Olsen and Armas ferries we watch from our balcony as they make their crossings between Playa Blanca, Lanzarote, where we live, and the nearest Canary Island of Fuerteventura.


This one is just a little further down the coast from Seal Harbour, where I think we stopped for a cup of coffee from our picnic flask. A beautiful and peaceful spot.


Our Sepia Saturday picture prompt this week features telescopes and rocks, so here’s another picture demonstrating just how relaxing Seal Harbour was.


There’s nothing like a spot of  rock-pooling to help one unwind. We often go for walks along our coastal path here, and as the tide goes out we scramble down to see the tiny marine creatures temporarily displaced into the rock pools. It’s the Atlantic Ocean we see from our bedroom window (not the Mediterranean as some mistakenly believe); the same ocean which washes the shores of Ireland, so, yes, it is tidal, and sometimes on the cool side but this doesn’t stop my husband taking a dip.


There he is in Seal Harbour again. There was no digital zoom in my camera in those days and I almost needed to borrow his telescope in order to see him.


Our prompt picture featured three men so here is my second ‘man with a telescope’. Our very good friend Ian, clearly enjoying whatever it is he is viewing. I think this one was taken in the summer of 2001 on our holiday in Cornwall, but I can’t be precise about the location I’m afraid.


And now to the present day and man number three. Christmas 2013 and his is the moment when my daughter’s partner received his Christmas gift from her, and another generation was set on the path of discovering the delights of astronomy.

In today’s Times newspaper there’s an article and chart, explaining what we can expect from the night sky in March and in which the recent findings of the giant Hubble telescope are reported. I can’t share it in its entirety as you would have to be a subscriber to view it, but the link will take you to the chart, together with the introduction to the piece, entitled: Brilliant Venus Rises before Dawn, by Chris Lintott. It’s aimed at a UK audience of course but I can quote from it, as I’m acknowledging the source:

A moderate pair of binoculars, accompanied by fairly good eyesight will reveal the four Galilean moons. These are large worlds — Ganymede is larger than Mercury, for example — and, thanks to the push and pull of Jupiter’s gravity they are, with the exception of distant Callisto, dynamic places. The volcanoes of Io and the subsurface oceans on Europa and Ganymede owe their existence to the changing forces they experience as they swing round on slightly elliptical orbits. According to recent results from the *Hubble Space Telescope*, when Europa is farthest from the giant planet it relaxes, allowing water from under the ice to be spewed out into space. Whether this happens frequently or was just an isolated episode is an open question, as is whether the water thus expelled comes from the deep ocean or from some source closer to the surface, but it is undoubtedly an exciting development.

For more exciting developments and discoveries you need to move into the orbit of Sepia Saturday, and see what other contributors found when they peered through their telescopes.

17 comments:

  1. That certainly telescoped the years since I started using grey hair dye!

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    1. Funnily enough I appear to have been dabbling with it that point too. Serves you right for leaving the bottle out in the bathroom; now look, we’ve gone the whole hog!

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  2. Wow! I had to really look to see him in the water, just his head is showing, lovely pictures indeed!

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  3. Nice pictures & that swim at Seal Harbour would look so cooling during our hot summer weather! I love watching the night & early morning skies too, though I don't have a telescope so use binoculars. I like to watch for the Int'l Space Station to fly over as well as observe the stars & planets & comets. Perhaps for my next birthday - or maybe Christmas - I should ask for a telescope instead of gift certificates for pedicures! Love the humor between the two of you! I stopped using hair dye when we got new flooring in the kitchen & bathrooms & I found myself laying down plastic tablecloths to protect the new floors from splattered dye. Figuring it was finally more trouble than it was worth, I let go.

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  4. I remember Glengarriff so well - as if it were yesterday! But it's more years than I care to remember since I was last there.

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  5. I meant to get my husband a telescope for Christmas last year but I totally forgot that was the plan. I'm going to try to remember for this year.

    It took me awhile to realize that wasn't TWO beach balls in Seal Harbour.

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  6. I love the link between the past 'childhood' telescope to the current day to the next generation - not sepia but still linking history

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  7. I've always preferred binoculars to telescopes, for some reason. I too love scouting rock pools for the myriad of tiny creatures revealed by the receding tide.

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  8. It took me some time to spot your husband swimming in Seal Harbour :-). And yes, the moons of Jupiter are very interesting. I hope some day mankind will visit them (not in our lifetime I'm afraid).

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  9. You have combined so well the themes of telescopes and rocks. Lovely photographs plus a very thoughtful introduction .

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  10. The article on telescoping is very interesting. I studied psychology long ago and hadn't heard of it before.

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  11. A very appropriate collection for this weekend's theme. When my wife and I were in Scotland last summer looking out at the rocky coast of the North Sea we saw a few seals. They were looking up at us on the cliffs and I was struck by how from a distance a seal resembled a human head - or even a mermaid.

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  12. Love the way you book-ended with 2 telescopes, and many miles and at least 2 generations...most enjoyable post.

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  13. Ireland has so many pretty bays and it looks from the photograph you had the weather to enjoy them. My first dip in the Atlantic was in Ireland. Nice to see the telescopes over the years, I suspect the modern one has all sorts of technical wizardry.

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  14. Did your husband swim with seals I wonder?

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  15. a very thoughtful arrangement..the weather sunshine and balmy was so welcome to see as we continue here with arctic temps. And a great ending leading to another start with more telescoping!

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  16. There is something wonderful about viewing the sky through a telescope. In my last home I had one in the living room for years. Many nights I'd sit there for hours watching the sky. Alas, it now sits in the closet. I haven't taken it out in years. You've inspired me to dig it out to see what I can see.

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