Translator: Nyoi-Bo Studio Editor: Nyoi-Bo Studio
When it came to the portraits, Li Du shifted his responsibility to others.
He had to give Hans something to do and something to show for it, which made Hans feel important to the team. Else Hans would not be happy to feel useless, and Li Du would be overworked.
Since Hans gave him the good news, Li Du felt reassured and could participate in the star party with a carefree spirit.
Driving away from the town took about half an hour. There were many small roads in the mountains, but they did not have to worry about losing their way. There were many cars on the road because many of the treasure hunters joined as well. They just have to follow the others.
While there was still a distance away from the party, they could see it in no time.
Li Du had read about the event before but had underestimated its size.
It was less like an astronomy gathering and more like a New Year party.
Tents were propped up all over the wide grass, and many more were being set up as he watched.
The tents were of various sizes, and the bigger ones had shelves with all kinds of products on them, for display and sale.
In one spot, there was a stand, and on the grass in front of it, there was a greased-paper spread with a motley assortment of things that looked like a flea market.
To Li Du’s surprise, an area was set aside, surrounded by a wooden fence, with a few horses grazing at a leisurely pace, and a group of cowboys gathered to chat as if they were about to embark on a horseback ride.
More than that, there were many people dressed up to go hiking and strolling. They were not carrying binoculars, but only hiking bags and maps to study the terrain.
Li Du was stunned and said, “Is this a party for astronomy lovers? If no one had told me, I would have thought this was a yard sale.”
When he entered, he found a garage sale booth and even saw an acquaintance, black tooth Robbie from the Hersman garage sale!
The two men met and then smiled simultaneously.
They hugged and Li Du asked, “Black tooth, why are you here?”
Robby smiled and showed two big, black front teeth, which were the source of his nickname.
“I love astronomy,” he said cheerfully. “I love studying galaxies. Of course, it’s nonsense. My son loves it, though, so I took him here.”
As he spoke, he pointed to a small African American boy of seven or eight years old, who was leaning over a telescope.
Li Du smiled. “I thought you were here for a yard sale.”
Robey shrugged and said, “You guessed it. I brought some things. There are people who love these, and I could use the chance to make some money. You have to earn your way, don’t you?”
They said goodbye after having a small chat. The party was very large, and there were many people, about twenty thousand of them. With so much going on, Li Du wanted to have a good look around.
However, this was not the world’s biggest starry night party. The largest-scale event of this kind was is in Tainai, Japan, where it was held less often than in Fort Davis. Its duration was shorter, but it covered a vast area and was very popular.
Tainan’s star party was a two-day event held every April and August, 250 kilometers north of Tokyo. It would unite astronomy lovers from around the world.
The Japanese government attached great importance to this activity, and the local people regarded it as an opportunity to show their culture to the outside world, so the scale of the event was huge.
In addition to observation, shooting, and astronomy equipment exhibition and sales activities, there would be rock concerts, model rocket launch competitions, and a variety of children’s entertainment activities.
By contrast, the star party at Fort Davis was less elaborate.
Li Du went for a walk and found an area that was somewhat different from the rest of the party scene. There were many people around cannon-like telescopes sitting on the ground. There were also people walking around, and many of them had something similar to a telescope in their hands.
He looked at it and realized that all the astronomy fans were here.
Li Du beckoned Godzilla and Brother Wolf to bring the telescope box. They found a place, then opened the box and began to assemble the telescope.
The brackets of the two telescopes were laid out, and many people were drawn in to look around and discuss:
“Hey, nice, Dobson Newton reflector telescope, this is cool.”
“Wow, the all-wood Dobson telescope? I bet it’s handmade. Who made it? What a genius!”
“Man, this telescope looks a little familiar. Two years ago, I recall, someone had brought it here, but I don’t think they were these guys.”
While Brother Wolf and the others were unpacking the telescope, Li Du continued to mill around, observing the activity.
The American people had a crazy DIY spirit, which was also true in the field of astronomical telescopes. Various kinds of telescopes were appearing at the scene of the party, some of which were full of personality.
Before the 1970s, telescopes were expensive all over the world. At that time, there were amateur telescope DIY campaigns and roadside astronomy campaigns in the United States.
Among them, the Dobson telescope was one of the masterpieces. Both telescopes that Li Du had won were of the Dobson brand.
After the 1970s, there were more and more telescope manufacturers in the United States, and new types of telescopes used by astronomy enthusiasts gradually came to the market, such as the Schmidt-Cassegrain and the Sutov-Cassegrain types.
Li Du learned all this from the Internet in the past few days, but he found that he was not a theory leaner. He wanted to apply the knowledge in real life.
Best of all, he wanted to find a master, because he did not know how to use a telescope, and certainly not how to use it to look for famous galaxies in the night sky.
While Li Du was milling around, Brother Wolf suddenly came to find him and said, “There is an issue. Someone said that the telescope belongs to him.”
Li Du was stunned. “What? Let’s go back and find out.”
While he brought these telescopes to the party, he was indeed a little concerned became some of the warehouses in the action contained confiscated property. There were stolen goods stashed in the warehouse by thieves.
Then the thief was caught, but the police could not trace everything he had stolen. He would, of course, cover his tracks to minimize his sentence.
Such warehouses were common, and many treasure hunters have made their fortunes from them.
Li Du had worried that someone might have stolen the telescopes and stored them in a warehouse in Fort Davis, but after he thought about it, he decided that could never happen.
Stargazers kept a tight watch on their telescopes, and there was an unspoken rule saying that if you wanted to touch someone’s telescope, you had to greet the owner first.
Therefore, with all the eyes around the party, it would be hard to steal a telescope this big without anyone noticing.
That was why he had the confidence to come with the two telescopes, but now things looked bad.