Someone on Cloudy Nights was asking about your favorite astronomy experience and I have been thinking about this. I wonder what your most memorable astronomy experiences have been.
As a teenager, the first time I was able to look at the Moon and the terminator, Saturn and Jupiter with its four moons using my new 60mm telescope in 1964. I still think that Saturn is the most beautiful object in the sky. Finding M57, the Ring Nebula, with my homemade 4.25″ reflector in the fall of 1967. Watching my first total Lunar eclipse in April, 1968. The first time that I went out in the country, away from town, and saw the Milky Way shinning bright.
As a young adult, seeing my first total solar eclipse in March, 1970. One of the most totally awesome events I have ever experienced. Seeing my first naked eye comet with a long bright tail in March, 1970. Seeing Mercury transit the Sun in May, 1970. So many first’s for the first six years of observing with a telescope.
As an older/mature adult, finding and seeing many deep-sky objects that I had always dreamed about seeing, and seeing detail in many of them. Seeing solar prominences and filaments in H-alpha light. My first time attending the Mid-Atlantic Star Party with over 500 amateur astronomers in attendance. Seeing my first eclipse of a Jovian moon by another Jovian moon last year.
As I think back, this is only the tip of the iceberg. There are far to many great experiences to pick just one.