Saturday, October 22, 2016

#67 - Saturday, October 22, 2016

The club did an outreach event at a local park, where they had other outdoor education-type stations, like learning about nocturnal animals.  We set up in this clearing where from any given spot, you could only get half the sky or less, but as you traversed around the circle, you could get the whole thing from different angles.  There were about ten of us set up, and I brought my C8 and my Oberwerk binoculars.  We had to haul our gear a little bit to get to our spots, but I had some help with mine.  Before it even got dark, we had tons of people coming by, so I turned both the binoculars and the telescope to Venus, about the only thing I could find.  Even though Venus isn’t much to look at – basically just a giant, bright star – people were still really interested to see it.  When it got darker, I turned the C8 to Saturn, which is currently small and low, in the mushy part of the atmosphere, but if you’ve never seen it before, it’s still a wonder.  A lot of people were amazed to see the rings.  It was pretty neat.   Later, once it calmed down a bit, I tried setting up my camera to image the Dumbbell Nebula using DeepSkyStacker Live, but DSS Live kept crashing or just not stacking things, and it doesn’t look like it has any of the image controls I need to actually make it look interesting.  So I’m going to look into other apps.  

Anyway, all told, the event organizers said about 300 people attended the event, and I think I had at least 70 or so look through my scope.  It was fun!

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