I love being in the country at night and looking up to see a black sky dotted with millions of twinkling stars. You realize how big space is and how small you are. That’s something you miss when you live near a city. I love reading books about planets and constellations, too. It’s fun to look for different stars and planets that I’ve read about with my little telescope. It’s a hobby of mine. It’s also a hobby of my character Seth, in The Magic Telescope. I get a lot of inquiry as to which moon of Jupiter Seth travels to in the story.
The planet Jupiter has 63 known moons as of 2012 according to NASA. You can find out more about Jupiter’s moons on their website. Wow, can you imagine looking up into the sky and seeing it covered in moons?
The four largest moons are called the Galilean satellites, after the Italian astronomer Galileo Galilei who was credited with their discovery in 1610. These large moons are named Io, Europa, Ganymede, and Callisto. It is on Europa that Seth’s story takes place. I didn’t add this information in the story because really, y’all, how many ten year old boys can tell you which moon of Jupiter they’re looking at through a telescope? Not many.
Europa’s surface is mostly water ice. There is evidence to suggest that it may be covering an ocean of water or slushy ice beneath it. Scientists believe that Europa may have twice the water Earth does. Astrobiologists are intrigued by this moon because of its potential for having a “habitable zone.” Life forms have been found thriving near extreme locations on Earth so it’s reasonable to think they may offer a glimpse into what exists on Europa. I actually didn’t know that the possibility of life on Europa was possible when I started my story, so I thought that was pretty awesome.
I came up with the idea for The Magic Telescope when I was writing a story for my Creative Writing class. I was racking my brain for an idea and had just about given up when I opened my hall closet door and there sat my telescope. From there it just kind of flowed. I chose a moon of Jupiter as my setting because it’s my favorite planet (besides Earth). I hope this post will help my readers understand and connect with my story a little better.
It’s important to me to put pieces of who you are into your work, and just as important for there to be some element of truth or reality in it. If you haven’t already done so, you can get my book at smashwords to find out more about Seth and his journey. Happy Reading!