Sunday, October 30, 2011
Halloween Outreach and Quick Catch Up
Well, tomorrow is Halloween and so I thought a picture of the Witch Head Nebula in Orion would be nice. Located next to the star Rigel in the knee of Orion is very appropriate for this time of the year. With the holiday this year in Utah will come mild temperatures, in the 50's for trick-o-treating and clear skies. Last year it was cloudy so I couldn't do any outreach. What I do is set up my 10 inch dob and an older 1960's zoom scope and show off the moon and Jupiter during this time. I pick a nice set of craters on the terminator and let them know what they are looking at. Often kids though want to see the whole moon and that requires a wider field of view and thus why I use the Tasco refractor. In the dob I like to show off Jupiter and hand out a quick hand out which I got from the Mohawk Astronomical Group and simply copy off.
This is a wonderful way to let your neighbors know about what you do, and why having lights off is important. It at least can establish a rapport to those who leave lights on all the time. More importantly it can introduce the thrill of looking up to our local community.
I have about three observing sessions to post and to me they are quite exciting. I was able to do some things with the stable air we've had that are simply amazing. One of them that I'll announce is I was after over an hour of work, I was able to observe Pease 1 in Messier 15. I've also found some objects that I really like and look forward to sharing them this week while the weather heads south here in Utah and we get our first snow at the house later this week (at 5000 to 5200 feet). So I thought I would share my non-observing list with you. I had planned to get some double star and lunar time in but I guess mother-nature has other plans. Anyway, I've made a list of things to do:
1. Update my observations and upload my digital recordings, transcribing them to the written document.
2. Upload my sketches to the blog with my observations.
3. Upload my sketches to my sketching site.
4. Switch my eyepieces over to a new case I got and show that here.
5. Introduce my new field heater here and how I've been using it.
6. Update my observing lists and make a check off of the Herschel 400 II.
7. Finish reading and reviewing here an wonderful book I'm reading called How I Killed Pluto and Why it Had it Coming by Mike Brown.
8. Anything else I come up with but 1-7 are the priority.
So I have lots of posts coming, but work and class is keeping me hoping but I can post probably one a day for while until I am caught up once the observations are written down. So may your skies be clear and look up when they are!