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Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Oct 12, 2010 12:37:31 GMT -6
The Chicago Astronomer as the resident Astronomer for the Chicago Park District's Nature Oasis activities
The Chicago Astronomer will serve as the Chicago Park District's Resident Astronomical consultant for two "Nature Oasis" family night activities in October and November 2010 at two different locales...
Rain dates of October 14th 2010 at Northerly Island and November 22nd 2010 at Warren Park.
I'll be utilizing the C11 beast and hoping for clear skies Wednesday. It's a family orientated event and all are welcomed to attend. If you never been onto the Northerly Island location, this is your chance for Island star gazing at the most darkest location in Chicago.
Cool! Was thinking about setting up at Horner for a long session. May still do that at meet up with you in November up at Warren Park. Will see how much energy I have tomorrow and what the weather brings.
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Oct 14, 2010 12:02:14 GMT -6
The Chicago Astronomers and the Chicago Park District enjoyed a successful Nature Oasis Family Night
The Chicago Park District has contracted the Chicago Astronomer to participate in the "Nature Oasis" series as their astronomical guide for the night time events. We are honored to be chosen, included in the events..and a great opportunity.
Chicago Astronomer John and I packed my Voyager van with his C5, 4" Refractor and my C11 beast with accessories...and off we went to the Chicago Park District's Astronomy Family Night at Northerly Island.
We arrived at 6:30 pm and unsure exactly where to set up, but I made an educated guess from the map provided me and loaded out the gear. We had storms earlier in the day, but it cleared up in time for this session...
It was not the best optimal atmospheric condition, as a lot of upper level haze was evident and it was going to make things rough the view.
Our host and coordinator of the Nature Oasis events, Heather from the Park District, met up with us and gave the go ahead to set up.
With three scopes at the ready, we could slew to different targets and the visitors could make the circuit. I had John concentrate on Jupiter and the Moon while I took advantage of the aperture of the C11 to show the Double cluster and the "E.T." star asterism.
We were set up near the southern end of Northerly Island, a good area for observational astronomy. Families and individuals came by and enjoyed the views...
Here above, you can make out the Auriga constellation rising over the lake...
Fans of the Chicago Astronomer stopped by to share the skies and say hi...
I had attempted to target the Andromeda galaxy, but it was so hazy, it was not a viable object to share...just a smudge. But John and I spent the evening discussing astronomy, cosmology and related topics. Here I interrupt John for a quick pic...
Damen, (hope I spelled it correctly), follows me on Twitter and came out with his borrowed 4.5" reflector and shared his scope with the visitors as well. A very nice man and hope he joins us in future sessions.
I tried to take pics and attend to the visitors, so most of these are quick grabs, but later on Chicago Astronomer supporter and friend Gerry came by and took over the documentation, which are included in this narrative.
This one by Gerry, looks like the Emerald City...with a road even...
I like this one, as we have a great Chicago Skyline, the Chicago Astronomer/Park Dist crew and the Big Dipper hanging in the sky. (It was barely visible naked eye, but we did spit the Double in the bend of the handle.)...
By 10:00 pm the crowds thinned and it was time to pack up...
Targets shared tonight were:
M57 - The Ring Nebula, Jupiter, Uranus, Neptune, The Pleiades - M45, The Moon, The "E.T' Star cluster, The Double Star cluster in Perseus, Mizar/Alcor Binary at the bend of the Big Dipper's Handle... ...and the Alberio double star.
I tried to catch Comet Hartley, but conditions did not permit a visual on it. But Uranus & Neptune did display nice disks and Jupiter four visible Satellites made a good show.
The temps were tolerable and I was ok with just a light jacket, but it was a bit windy and I elected not to attach the Dew Shield to keep vibrations down...and by 9:30 pm...I was starting to dew up.
I felt that this was a good first Astronomy Family Night and the next one at Warren Park on Chicago's far Northside will be even better. A big thanks to the Chicago Park District for organizing this and access to the Interior of Northerly Island.
Just had a chance to talk to Joe. He says that onaccounta weather, the viewing for tomorrow night has been cancelled and rescheduled for 11/22, weather permitting.
He also asked me to let everybody know that his Mom has been ill lately and that he's spending a ton of time with her. He'll check in as soon as he is able. Not much astronomy to discuss around Chicago for the last week anyway.