Solar Observing - 11 June 2005... Jun 13, 2005 0:06:41 GMT -6
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Jun 13, 2005 0:06:41 GMT -6
Public Solar Observing Session
I arrived at the Adler late after Saturday's earlier adventures wanted my attention. I had noticed that by the time I had arrived, the solar scope and people manning the instrument were already set up.
Fellow Adler telescope operators Jeff and Bill were guiding new scope trainee, Balu in the ways of public observation.
The day was a bit warm, but also quite windy which help to off-set the heat. The winds prevented me from hoisting the patio umbrella for some shade, so I braved it out and spent the day in the blazing Chicago sun.
Since the solar scope was already in use, I decided to utilize my favorite solar method...projection with the 4" refractor. I used the roll-about cart as my support to hold up the large sheets of paper, put on a yellow filter on the eyepiece and we were set. I like this way as it allows an entire group to participate and interact with me. After they all get a good look at the sun projected, I then put on the aperture filter on the scope and let them take a peek at the Sun's surface directly in white light. Then they proceed to the solar scope to watch some promenances in H-Alpha filtering. Two huge sunspots were displayed prominently and clear penumbra definitions, even with the projected imaging.
Balu, the new trainee, took up the session quite well and considering this was his first public interaction, he did good. We all three threw questions at him to help him prepare for the certification exam, and he learned quickly. Quite a funny guy, and he expressed interest in joining me and others when we set up by Copernicus on warm evenings.
Jim and Bill departed at three, but since I got there late, I decided to remain a bit longer till four. People still kept coming right up until we packed up. In all, I would say I served about 40 people this day.
It was a good day for solar observing, had fun, met interesting people, answered questions and it was a productive Saturday afternoon.