Friday, February 03, 2006

Helping Out

Jay posted a request yesterday for volunteers to come out to the elementary school where his wife teaches for a star party. I packed up the big scope and the 6" dob, and headed over after work. We lucked out--it was cloudy as we set up, the sky cleared right at sunset, and 2 hours later when all the kids were through, the clouds came back.

Observations: Everybody loves looking at Saturn. The Orion Nebula is cool, but Andromeda is unimpressive in city skies. Kids like watching the scope slew from one object to another almost as much as looking through it. Everyone wants to see the lunar landers, and are disappointed when I explain you'd need a telescope with a 200-meter mirror. I can't explain why Saturn is the only planet with rings. It's not, but that's even harder to explain.

And here's a really unimpressive first-light imaged using the new focuser. It looked sharper in the eyepiece is all I have to say.

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