Continued from ASTR 101 : Guided by the Stars (Lesson 1).

What a fun day today was! We went to Diagon Alley! After I got my wand, books, stationery, potions supplies, and robes, the only thing remaining to buy was a telescope and a cauldron. Dad said Wiseacre’s Wizarding Equipments is the place to purchase all accessories mentioned as necessary on my Hogwarts letter.

We looked through different kinds of magical and muggle telescopes. The differences between the two kinds, the store wizard explained to us, are that the magical telescopes come with scratch-resistant and break-resistant charms on them. We requested to see the von Rheticus-model magical telescope, because that is what my Astronomy Professor asked us to get. It has a large metal knob to zoom in, and a small metal knob that uses magic to focus the lens. The charms in the telescope are able to focus the lenses for us, but it is also possible to change to focus of the lens manually.

The store wizard also mentioned a number of safety precautions one needs to follow, to maintain a telescope. Always keep it in the case, and only take it out at the time of viewing. The same applies to the lens caps as well. The lens will get damaged if pointed directly at the Sun or the Moon when it is full. I finally picked out a bright blue von Rheticus-model magical telescope. The store wizard was kind enough to engrave my initials on the inner side of the lens cap. It is so pretty! I cannot wait to get to Hogwarts and learn to use it.

On the way back, we stopped at the pet store, and my parents bought me a barn owl. I named him Robin, because he is so little and so cute. The perfect end to what turned out to be a perfect day.

Continue to ASTR 101 : Lunar Viewing (Lesson 5).


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