- The Chicago Astronomer -
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Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Oct 6, 2011 8:34:23 GMT -6
Lakeside fun with the Chicago Astronomers...
Cool nights are my favorite type of Chicago Astronomer star parties...and we had a great one.
Arriving at 6:45 pm, I decided to set up by the Sundial just north of the Adler building, for some nice skyline views during our public observation session. This evening would gather Chicago Astronomers: John, Paulie, Hillary and myself.
I prefer to arrive on-scene before sunset for any star party, as I feel I lost valuable time if I set up after dark, so this session was a good start with me, as it was still light upon setting up.
Regular Chicago Astronomer fans Keith and Christina were ready to share the urban skies with us....
...and here we share a Chicago Astronomer disk with their cute little boy who was helping me set-up earlier. Yay!... ;D
And we begin...
John brought his 5" Nexstar, Paulie his 6" Dob and Hillary her 60mm shorty refractor - and of course, the C11 Beast...
Set up a telescope, and they shall come. We attended to several great visitors, eager to peek through our instruments and enjoy the Moon up close and all personal-like.
Above is Axel, who stayed with us for awhile and took some pics. Here is his nice note:
Dear Mr. Guzman
I'm happy to met you in chicago at Oct.5.
Are you remember me? I'm Seonggui Kang from south korea. And my english name is Axel. At that time, I saw the moon through your telescope.
That was my fantastic experience.
Thank you very much.
After I observed the moon, we took a picture. So, Could you send me the picture? plz...
I look forward to your reply.
The Moon was in prime position, but although clear, the air was turbulent, as the lunar features were not as crisp this evening...
Say hi to Clavius and Rupes Recta - The Straight Wall, visible this night nicely.
...and Jupiter was riding low, very very bubbly and not sharp at all...
You can see how the conditions improved over a short span of time, but it never reached absolute clarity during our session.
But even so, our visitors enjoyed the Jovian planet and viewing three Satellites , one on each side and another just south of the planet, skimming the limb.
Above, Fellow Adler Telescope Operator Devon, joined us and I hope he makes it a regular habit...
And, we continue to share and enjoy...
Here, I feel awkward not hugging a Chicago Astronomer fan....
Sometimes, passerbyers are unsure if they should approach or what, but their curiosity keeps their head turned toward us. Now, I read people, something of a habit from my CPD/community organizer days - and if I see that gleam in their eye, I'll smile, approach them and introduce myself...welcoming to take a peek in my scope. Then, after they view, ask them if they enjoyed it and tell them something about the object they just viewed...which brings more discussion and smiles and more peeks - this more at ease and comfortable. Then, finally ask to take a photo with them and pass my card.
People like the Chicago Astronomer.... ;D
I got to see Paulie two night's in a row - and incredible that he and C.A. John never had met until this session...after all these years!!! Dang!... But great that our family continues to grow and prosper with enthusiasm and generosity of high energy urban astronomy.
Looks like fun! I dig that the Segway people finally stopped.
Was at X at the Bottom Lounge last night and it didn't finish until 11, so I just came home and slept. Glad you had fun and yes, weird that John and Paulie had not met unit then. Bet they could talk for hours with each other. p
Last Edit: Oct 6, 2011 16:28:35 GMT -6 by patrickm
Looks like fun! I dig that the Segway people finally stopped.
Was the X at the Bottom Lounge last night and it didn't finish until 11, so I just came home and slept. Glad you had fun and yes, weird that John and Paulie had not met unit then. Bet they could talk for hours with each other. p
We talked like we'd known each for years.
"Just a boy, just an ordinary boy, but he was looking to the sky." -Vanessa Carlton
Sorry guys - I'm putting together my fall night sky presentation. LOTS of work to do - the whole powerpoint with night sky slides, plus the planning for the video that I'll be including, and that will all need to get shot / edited / etc., over the next couple weeks. I was out tonight getting some costumes props. Despite the run of good weather, I haven't even been outside to look at the sky much even at my own house!
That's okay - the point is getting my presentation together to inspire other people to see what's up in the sky. So missing a bit of the clear skies will be worth it.
Post by Chicago Astronomer Joe on Oct 7, 2011 12:23:57 GMT -6
A Exo-Planet lecture, Star gazing and new Chicago Astronomer fans....
This evening at the Adler Planetarium, was a nice lecture on the discoveries of the NASA Kepler mission - identifying exo-solar planets. Chock full of data, Jason Steffen, above and far right - ( postdoctoral fellow at the Fermilab Center for Particle Astrophysics and a member of the Science Team for NASA's Kepler mission.), the presenter showed us in the domed Definiti theater, images and data that the Kepler mission has gathered...
And Chicago Astronomer Linda sports her new Chicago Astronomer disk during the lecture...
And also, Geza Gyuk, Ph.D., Director of Astronomy at the Adler Planetarium, announced that the Chicago Astronomer - will set up a telescope for our guests after the lecture.
The evening was warm and clear...although the transparency was poor, as the stars in the Big Dippers handle to the north were difficult to observe from our locale. I left the lecture just before conclusion to set up before the crowd exited at our primary Chicago Astronomer public observation site... and just made it in time....
Lines formed quickly and everybody was respectful and polite. All with a great interest in astronomy, we discussed practically every aspect of the field, as others enjoyed great views through the C11 beast...imposing thing it is. Many enjoy watching me slew it around, laser blazing, as I flip the meridian angle switching between the Moon and Jupiter. (I kinda dig it myself... )
I started out with the 40mm 2" eyepiece for a modest 70x magnification, but increased it, as our visitors wanted more - finally throwing in the 26mm 2" and a 2x barlow for a final comfortable 215x magnification...
Here is a nice treat...
These young ladies from Northwestern Indiana attended the exo-planet lecture - and Angel, (with the cool retro glasses), is studying astronomy and was very thrilled in the opportunity of telescope time.
Here is the nice note she sent me:
Thank you thank you for letting me look through your telescope tonight. It was so amazing and beautiful to see into the sky like that. I had never looked through a telescope before and it was a wonderful treat!
What a beautiful gift you gave everyone tonight! I'd live to be added to the email list and would be moat grateful of another opportunity to have a look again!
Oh.. I am the astronomy student with the glasses! Just putting a face to the email!
She's too cool.... ;D
People driving by stopped their cars along the curve to jump out and join us...including Bus drivers...
Chicago Astronomer Barbara, was busily greeting our visitors and taking count...even though she was a bit under the weather. She makes thing flow wonderfully. And New Chicago Astronomer member Maria took on the duties of photographer for the session, leaving me free to concentrate fully on public astronomy and our guests....
Chicago Astronomical Society member Audrey, (who is instrumental in fighting for dark skies and relentless), stopped by for a bit...
...and sporting our Chicago Astronomer disk...
As soon as I felt that the crowd had thinned and session concluded, a new group would arrive and we start again. A common behavior observed at our star parties from our visitors, is they attempt and to try and capture a piece of the cosmos with cameras - cell phone cameras mostly...and primarily the Moon, since it's so bright and detailed..
I met a very nice young man who's mission is to document and promote the sciences in the Chicagoland area...
Tom is a researcher and wants to bring a high awareness to all in the exciting fields of science. You can find more here:
Tom has already Tweeted the Chicago Astronomer and of our event here. (And he wore a very neat telescope themed t-shirt).
Here is Tom's very nice note:
Joe, it was a pleasure meeting you tonight.
Seeing Jupiter was a nice reminder about how little we really are. At the same time it's a nice reminder about the awesomeness of our universe. I look forward to our paths crossing again in the future.
Until then, be real and be happy.
Ain't astronomy fun?....
I had visitors and fans stop by that were hoping I would be out this evening, many of whom, sometimes... forgot their names. I do apologize, but after a few thousand visitors, my feeble mind creaks sometimes.
And we continue...
By 10:00 pm, our visitors, fans and friends had thinned out and I called it a night. ...
And here is a just-in email from Leslie...
Thanks for the showing us the amazing night sky views. Please include us on your mailing list for star gazing parties. Thanks,
This was a very successful session, attending to 90 guests, making new friends and seeing familiar regular fans. I debated about setting up this evening, but very glad I did...taking advantage of this great string of clear nights and the Exo-planet crowd.
We will be out Saturday night for the "Explore the Moon" session for some more urban astro fun. Setting up by 6:30 pm.