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Astronomy Nearly Caused Blindness

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Posted by Ed Slocomb on February 18, 2000 05:32:26 UTC

One night I took a G.E.M. out to a dark sight. It had a built-in polar alignment scope.

I set about sighting Polaris, but I couldn't see anything through the scope. It couldn't be dew, so I shined a pen-light down the polar sight. I could see only a small amount of the light, plus--movement!

There was something moving INSIDE the polar alignment scope. I backed away and aimed the penlight at the eyepiece. There is a small recess there, in front of the actual lens. Inside the recess was--a Brown Recluse Spider! It had been only a small fraction of an inch from my eyeball! I'm not an arachnophobe, but that made ALL the hairs on my back stand endwise.

Guess what I do now before putting my eye that close to ANYTHING in the dark.

Come to think of it, telescopes have lots of places where spiders might like to hang out.

BTW, I didn't hurt the spider.

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