By Enrico Maso, translated into English by Ruth Stephens
After dinner, Giacomo and Tommaso go by car to the observatory. It only takes 20 minutes. There are quite a few people there. On Saturday evenings it’s open to the public and many famous astronomers visit it too.
Tommaso is full of enthusiasm, running around and looking at everything, asking lots of questions. Then he gets to look at the sky through a telescope.
“It’s fantastic, Papa,” he says, “but…”
“But…?” asks Giacomo “what’s the matter? Can’t you see very well?”
“No, it’s not that,” says Tommaso “ but I don’t understand how I can see so many stars here. The sky is full of them, just like my teacher said. But at home…it’s different.”
“In what way?” asks Giacomo.
“Well, there aren’t so many stars in the sky above our house. Why is that?”
Giacomo doesn’t know what to say. Tommaso is always asking difficult questions and needs easy answers.
“No, Tommaso, it’s just that you can see more through the telescope.”
“Ah….” Tommaso thinks for a moment. “Pity, I’d like to see all the stars at home, too.”
On the way home, Giacomo looks towards the sky. Near the observatory there is very little light, but in the town it’s different: street lights, neon signs, advertisements – there is so much light pollution.
Later on, in bed, Giacomo thinks about how the problem could be resolved.. A telescope costs a lot but he would like Tommaso to be able to continue looking at the stars.
“There’s too much light in town,” thinks Giacomo, as he drifts off to sleep, to dream of a darker town.
Oppure scopri il testo in inglese con traduzione a fronte (.pdf)