This is from a book I had as a kid (it is in rough shape now) called The How and Why Wonder Book of Stars. Growing up so close to New York City, I didn’t often get a view of the stars. When I did, they were often just faint vague points of light.
My exposure to the stars at this age was almost exclusive to the time I spent at my uncle in northern New Jersey. We would visit a few times every summer and occasionally stayed overnight. On those night I would brave the darkness, and the mosquitoes, to spend a while outside.
I would attempt to spot constellations and if the conditions were right, shooting stars. Some great memories were made sitting or laying on an old wooden table while the dew collected on every surface as the day turned to night. I would be drenched by the time I was called inside, but it didn’t matter to me.
This was my only opportunity to spot the stars and planets I had only seen in books and television. Not something I would take lightly. Every night after a good session of star-gazing, I would fall asleep thinking about how little I knew about the universe. This would drive me to find more books and magazines as a kid. As a pre-adult it would eventually lead me to take some wonderful astronomy courses in college.
A lot of the origins of the “whys” in my life are hard to pin down. But I know that my love of the stars started early and most likely from books like, The How and Why Wonder Book of Stars.