Members Night Viewing Sessions... Jun 19, 2005 22:59:47 GMT -6
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Jun 19, 2005 22:59:47 GMT -6
Members Night at the Adler - 16 & 17 June 2005
I wasn't too sure if I was free to work Thursday at the Adler, but things opened up and I enjoy the interaction with the public. It was a good thing too, as it promised to be a good night for observation with plenty of planets to show.
We had two new telescope interpreter trainees with us this evening, Orin and Jude. I quizzed them on the necessary exam content they will be taking to get certified, ( mounts, magnification formulas etc...), and started off the day with solar observation. I like the projection method with the 4" refractor...and so we had various scopes out, including the H-Alpha.
After the sun went down, we searched for Mercury, but it was not to be seen. Venus shown brightly and so we jumped from Venus, to Saturn to Jupiter and the Moon.
Plenty of Adler members stopped by to take a peek and discuss astronomy with us. Good questions and interesting astro talk. It was a good session.
Working the 16th of June are: Phil, Tony, Jude, Oran, Don and Joe
On Friday, the 17th, it looked like it was going to be a cloudy evening, but by sundown, the skies had cleared and all was a go for observation. I spent a good amount of time in the Doane Observatory this day, with Balu, Vanessa, Luis and Oscar manning the telescope Terrace. Oscar brought his own 8" SCT, fitted with all the fancy gear he carries, a lot of cool stuff.
I never really spent quality time in the Doane before, but this time the crowds were very light and I felt free to explore. Adler Astronomer Larry Ciupik allowed me to control the 20" SCT and rotate the dome thru the hand controller. Quite cool. It was still quite light out and the only targetable object was the moon. So, along with fellow telescope operators John and Bill, we spent some time studying the moon and the great wall ridge on the Moon. A nice sight thru the scope. Later on new Chicago Astronomer member and Adler trainee Rajasi, joined us in the fun. A scattering of public ventured to the dome, but they were relatively light.
We returned back to the terrace to catch the planets as the sky darkened, and as Rajasi never saw Saturn thru a scope before, this was the perfect chance to catch it. The only free scope was the 8" dob so I manned it, but because it's so low to the ground, the railing blocked the views to the west. So I "Commandeered" my favorite scope, (the 4" refractor), from Vanessa. Thx Vanessa for your indulgence!...
Saturn put on a good show for us, better than the night before. I could even kick it up to a 3.8mm eyepiece. Rajasi was pleased and great that she saw her first Saturn. We spent the remainder of the evening slewing back and forth between the Moon, Jupiter and Saturn, showing the public views until it was time to close up shop at 10:00 pm.
Larry invited the telescope operators to join him in an imaging session later on, and we took the opportunity to participate. After a brief break we marched to the Doane and started in on the fun. The subject of the CCD imagining this night would be M13 star cluster in Hercules. We didn't observe it directly, but viewed it on a LCD screen.
M13 shown brightly and with detail. Larry took various exposures in different colors to demonstrate that deep sky objects could indeed be captured in the light polluted skies of Chicago. John wanted to catch the transit of the red spot on Jupiter, but when we slewed to it, it was nowhere to be found. We then resumed our M13 session.
It was now about 12:30/1:00 am and we called it a night, as some of us were getting sleepy. But I enjoyed it immensely and hope we get the opportunity again to join in.
A great group to share this event with, as Larry, John, Bill, Oscar, Balu, Linda, Rajasi and myself joked all evening and had a good time.