The Story of a Comet Hunter's Life
My 50 years with Comets
Astronomy has made enormous progress over half a century
from the time of establishment of Palomar Observatory in the 1940s to the
operation of Subaru Telescope at the dawn of the 21st Century. Gigantic
telescopes attempt to record the images of the far reaches of the universe.
Mankind succeeded in lunar exploration by manned spacecraft and the exploration
of Mars by unmanned probes. Space travel is no longer just a dream. I am
extremely happy that I have been able to pursue the study of astronomy
when astronomy is making major historical discoveries. I have come to realize
that half a century has passed while I have been watching the stars since
my childhood. So many things have occurred during these years. Encounters
with my respectful teachers and farewells with them. Friends and people
before me who had headed for battle fields in the southern seas and perished;
an encounter with one particular book which had led me to astronomy; dramas
about new discoveries; farewells to my comets which had left us forever;
the day my mother passed away; and the tracking of minor planets I discovered
by accident and their naming. I believe that my pursuit of astronomy for
these long years has been supported by assistance from people ahead of
me and advice from friends. More important, however, it has been sustained
by my own burning passion deep in my heart for starry nights. I have leaned
that man's greatest purpose and joy of life is to strive to pursue one's
dream aiming at the twinkling distant stars. There is no mandatory retirement
to amateur astronomers like me. With the same passion as I had my younger
days, I will continue to pursue my dream as an active observer as long
as my life lasts. I hope you come to appreciate that this serial is a philosophy
of life formed in the universe by a man who has devoted his life to astronomy.
Leaving the introduction behind, I would like to begin my
story with a mysterious incident at the observatory. Would you like to
say," ghosts and spirits don't exist in the era of space travel"?
I heartily agree with you. But there seem to be mysterious things in this
world which cannot be explained by scientific knowledge. I would like to
share with you some of them I have experienced. I would like to contemplate
them with you and explore the universe.
Now let's begin. The first of this serial is "The mysteries
of the Observatory."
Copyright (C) 2000 Tsutomu Seki.