Friday, June 14, 2019

#188 - Monday, June 10, 2019 - Finally, Some Outreach!

It's been a long, cloudy month since the end of the Texas Star Party.  I almost went out to the observatory one night -- had the car loaded up and everything for zipping out there after the astronomy club's board meeting -- but alas, the forecasts were mixed, and the sky was pretty hazy.  But we finally got a clear night, and I happened to have signed up to do an outreach event that night!  It's my first outreach event of the year, since I've been pretty busy lately and couldn't make some of the others.

This particular event was held in a paved lot behind a school, and we had quite a few kids and their parents come through.  We also grabbed some random passers-by who were curious about what we were looking at.  Because of the light pollution, the only things we really tried to look at were the waxing moon and Jupiter as it peaked above the building.  The seeing was decent before darkness fully settled in, but it got worse as it got darker.

There were seven of us there from the club with five telescopes set up.  I brought my 8-inch Celestron Schmidt-Cassegrain on its Celestron NexStar SE mount, my go-to outreach setup for how easy it is to put together and how nice of views it gives, especially of the planets and the moon.

Kids and parents alike were amazed at how awesome the moon looked under some magnification.  Even though we see the moon all the time, it's a whole different experience when you apply some magnification!

Later on, I swapped out the eyepiece for my ZWO ASI1600MM Pro camera to do some imaging on the moon, but I ended up getting pretty sidetracked talking to people, and before I knew it, we had to pack up and go so they could close up the lot.  One of the people I was talking to was a boy about 11 years old or so who was asking a lot of fun questions about black holes.  I love answering science questions :D

I did snap a few shots with my cell phone though!

Through my 32mm eyepiece with my Samsung Galaxy S9 camera.

I almost set up my gear in my front yard as soon as I got home, but I was tired, it was kind of chilly, and I could see a bit of a haze in the air.  Plus, the seeing was pretty degraded earlier.  So I went to bed.  It was a fun evening!

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