I got a telescope for one of my early-teen birthdays. After aiming it into all of my neighbor’s windows—to disappointing effect—I finally turned it upward and…omigod! An unidentified interstellar object! Some hazy, milky-white thing that was invisible to the naked eye, but so obvious through my 60x optics. Would my name join Galileo, Copernicus, Hubble? My pals and I did a giddy sidewalk dance, speculating wildly on just what this thing could be! And then somebody turned the focus knob, sharpening the haze into a tiny star. Probably not even one of the famous ones. My love of astronomy died that night. Still, if you’ve never looked at a full moon through the eyepiece of even a cheap children’s-strength ‘scope, then you have missed one of life’s great experiences. Tonight, Sean O’Brien, staff astronomer at the National Air and Space Museum’s Einstein Planetarium, will lead an evening stargazing workshop, ending with a look at the rising of Mars, which is now the closest it’s been to Earth in 60,000 years. Look up at dusk at Sky Meadows Park, 11012 Edmonds Lane, Delaplane, Va. $4 per car. Call (540) 592-3556 for reservations and directions. (Dave Nuttycombe)