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About two weeks ago I moved into a new apartment. Up out of a dank basement to the 9th floor of a modest high-rise with far from modest balconies. I put it at about 180 to 200 square feet. My roommate and I have considered putting our living room set out there. For such a great location, on the cusp of downtown Toronto, the view is fantastic, unobstructed by neighbouring high-rises, looking out over acres and acres of residential tree-lined streets.

As an astronomer, I was eager to find out what the night sky was like. There’s little hope for any observing in downtown Toronto to begin with, but I thought with this view away from the downtown core there might be a chance of seeing a thing or two with my very meager 2 inch refracter. Unfortunately, (1) after sunset the western sky remains quite bright, and (2), this is still downtown Toronto. I can barely make out the bowl of the Big Dipper.

On top of this, the northwest sky in the evening is about as boring as it gets right now. While I did make out the binary pair Mizar and Alcor, what I really want to see is either Saturn or Jupiter, but I have yet to even figure out when either of those may make an appearance in just the right direction.

What I really need is a rooftop penthouse and a nice big 12 incher.

That’s what she said.

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