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Year End Astronomy Outreach In Singapore

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#1 James Ling

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 04:30 AM

Hi All...

In our small little city, Singapore , year end is always not a very ideal time for astronomy activities......, simply is our monsoon season......

But my astro friend, Gary, again has planned 2 astronomy talks in our usual public library, that we frequently conduct our outreach activities....

The 2 astronomy talks are on this coming 17th November Saturday, and another on this coming 8th December Saturday...
And this time, he will be introducing the top 10 celestial wonder that can be stargazing in a city which is heavily light polluted......

Beside this astronomy talk cum stargazing activities, we intend to add the Solar observation , in the afternoon, if the weather is sunny and not cloudy.....

My preparation for the new Lunt solar wedge also arrived last weekend shipped directly from APM Germany, and did a test on it with my C6R, and is great to use it for this coming weekend outreach...

Following is a photo which I took from my hand phone through the eyepiece.....

Regards

James Ling

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#2 James Ling

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Posted 13 November 2012 - 09:17 PM

Hi All....

This is the poster that Gary has put up for this coming 2 astronomy talk....

REgards

James Ling

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#3 James Ling

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Posted 16 November 2012 - 09:32 PM

Hi All...

Today is our 1st of the 2 planned talk cum astro day and night gazing at the local library...

Weather seems great this morning, and hopefully it continues till tonight 12am.....

Even this weekend paper also features this local library side walk as one of our country's weekend activities.....
(refer to attached photo)
the link is :- http://dl.dropbox.co...r_Issue_No7.pdf
and the full article is under page 9 of 12....

Regards

James Ling

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#4 James Ling

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 01:55 AM

Hi All.......

This is a brief report on yesterday 1st talk cum astro gazing at our local library .....

Morning weather is so good that I started to pack everything into my car, at 1pm, planning to set off at 3pm....
Targeting to setup the 8" Istar for solar obs with my new lunt solar wedge around 4.30pm....
But unfortunately, the heavy clouds start to appear at 2pm, and the heavy downpour didn't stop until 6pm....

The rain has not stopped completely, but I still want to support my astro friend, Gary's talk at 7pm....
So I set off from my house with the car fully loaded with the 8" Istar for the talk....

I am late for the talk, as an accident along the highway which I am traveling delayed the journey by another half an hour....

The astro talk is well prepared by my friend, with videos supplementing the topics that he is covering from the Sun, moon, Saturn and Jupiter, to DSO such as M31, M42 and M45...., a total of 10 objects that can be observed in our city country....

After the talk, is already 9pm, and a quick look outside the local library, still cannot spot either Jupiter or any bright star?
As such, we went for a break at the nearby McDonalds....

At 10pm, after I stepped out from McDonalds, I can see both Jupiter and Aldebaran about 30 deg above the horizon....
So our group decided to proceed to setup the 8" ISTAR for some observation before calling it a day....

As my car is parked some distance away form the library area, as such I need to drive my car to the obs area, unload my stuff, and park the car back in the designated area, so as to avoid fine....

By the time, the 8" scope is setup, is almost 11pm...
Pls refer to following photo....which I setting up the 8" Istar at Jupiter....
And imagine already 11pm, still have around 20 people willing to wait to see through this giant 8" ISTAR....

To be continued....

Regards

James Ling

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#5 James Ling

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 02:02 AM

Hi All....

At 11pm, Jupiter which is still quite low, the max power I use to put it for public viewing is 225X using my Baader zoom ep at 8mm ....
The observed view of Jupiter and its 4 moons is showing very fine cloud bands, and the cool weather after the heavy downpour really helps....

As the crowds is not like our usual side walk, we have plenty of time to allow them to use their hand pone to snap photo of Jupiter and its 4 moons....

This photo shows at around 12.30am, there are still more than 10 people from the public staying back just coz of Jupiter and they even stayed until 1.30am, when we told them that the GRS will start to appear around 1am....

Regards

James Ling

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#6 James Ling

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 02:15 AM

Hi All....

Last night although this side walk, is not able to compare to so many other side walks that we did earlier at the same location, which is mainly due to the heavy downpour in the afternoon but those who are ther till the end of the side walk session at 2am, will never be disappointed me, coz of two things that we have seen through the 8" Istar...

1. Jupiter GRS through the 8" Istar....

With so many numerous occasions, I put up the Istar, I have never get the chance to see the GRS, until tonight when at our region, GMT + 8, is visible around 1.30am.....

We waited, and by 1am, we can see the south equatorial belt region cloud band become discontinue at the edge.....and by 1.30am, when the full GRS is visible in view, from the edge, I can only make a comment that is very distinct, and clearly defined (unfortunately I forgot to bring my 82A filter, but I use the green filter instead), a very big and oval shape that stuck to the cloud band.....

2. Thetia Orionis Trapezium

In this heavily light polluted city, is very difficult to see the fuzzy patch M42....
But tonight, in between Jupiter visual viewing, I showed the small crowds, M42, which I use the 9X finder to spot it.....
In the visual view of M42, the gas clouds is not very highly structured visually unless you are in a dark area....
And the trapezium as usual is the main topic to explain where the gas clouds covers.....
But tonight something special is being spotted....
First is my astro friend saying that he spotted star E.....which is in between trapezium star A and B....
When I look through the eye piece again, not only I can clearly see the very tiny star E , but also another star F, lying below trapezium star C.
Although both star E and F are at mag 10+, I have never seen it with any of my scopes, although I heard about it....

And this time, is located in a very heavily light polluted city.....
I am very sure the cool weather really plays the part....

Lastly I hope all of you enjoyed this simple but lengthy report I posted, and I do hope for the 2nd talk cum astro gazing, we do not miss the solar observation.....

Below is a dwg showing the trapezium stars in M42...

REgards

James Ling

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#7 tecmage

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Posted 18 November 2012 - 10:19 AM

James, thanks for the report. I always enjoy reading about your outreach activities.

#8 James Ling

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Posted 19 November 2012 - 01:23 AM

Hi Richard...

Thanks for your comment....as this really motivates people like us to continue to do outreach regardless of how much time we spent......

Hi All....

Last weekend if the weather is good, we could have a wonderful time doing solar observation in the afternoon....

BTW I have just placed order for the Baader Solar Continuum Filter, 1.25", which will further enhance the contrast from my Lunt solar wedge ... and already shipped out from Germany, and expected to receive by either this or next coming weekend....
And of course , ready for 8th Dec 2012 2nd talk cum day and night gazing activities....

Lastly, if my new scope arrive on time, then that will even be great to put it to test for both the solar and jupiter show.....

Regards

James Ling

#9 James Ling

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Posted 21 November 2012 - 05:25 AM

Hi All....

Just received the Baader Solar Continuum Filter, 1.25", from APM Germany today.....

I think this will be great for any solar observation coupled with my Lunt solar wedge....

Also, has received mail from APM, that my new 152 ED APO will be shipped out coming Monday, and hopefully it can reach me on time for my friend's 2nd talk cum astronomy gazing activities.....

Regards

James ling

#10 Skylook123

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Posted 23 November 2012 - 12:31 PM

James, your efforts at outreach in such a challenging evnironment are both awe inspiring and motivating. You are touching many lives, and that can only be a good thing.

#11 James Ling

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Posted 24 November 2012 - 05:48 AM

Hi Jim....
Thanks for your comment.....

Great to hear from you that now you have started the planning for 2013 Grand Canyon Star Party (GCSP)........

Really hope I can free up some of my time from my work schedule, to travel over to USA , for this annual event.....

Hi All....

As I rush back today from oversea work assignment, to test my newly arrived continuum filter...
The weather is very cloudy, but I still manage to took this photo shot on the details of the Sunspots....
I am sure this should be good for my next solar side walk...

Regards

James Ling
James

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#12 James Ling

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Posted 06 December 2012 - 01:11 PM

Hi All...

As this coming weekend is my astro friend, Gary's 2nd astronomy talk at our local library, as such would like to update on this coming weekend side walk activities....

My new scope, APM 152 ED APO arrived yesterday,from Germany and I took one day annual leave to come back and examine the arrival of this new scope....

If tonight weather is good, i will test this scope at Jupiter , which according to my friend, GRS is visible, but just myself....at home....

Now my preparation is ready for this coming weekend, just hopefully the weather is good , and then it will be another fruitful side walk event.....at he local library area....

Regards

James Ling

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#13 James Ling

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Posted 08 December 2012 - 04:50 AM

Hi All....

At last, today is the planned side walk cum astro talk at our local library....
The whole of today , weather seems not promising, but looks like tonight , we may still have good chance for a successful event again...

As of now over our region is coming to 6pm, and I have everything loaded into the car except the new case and new scope.....to be loaded in an hours time..., then I will drive to our local library, which is an hour of driving....

will update tomorrow, after this side walk event....

Regards

James Ling

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#14 James Ling

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 06:33 AM

Hi All....

The following is a brief report of our last weekend Saturday night astronomy talk and side walk events:-

1. As usual , my astronomy friend, Gary, conduct his talk in the local library, between 7pm till 8.30pm.
And surprisingly this time, is almost full house, and some parents who attended this talk, are not first time here, but are parents who brought their children here again....as I think the few video clips that Gary shown to them are very well selected for supplementing his astronomy talk....

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#15 James Ling

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 06:36 AM

Hi All....

2. In fact there is also a last minute solar observation session, prior to the talk, but I could not make it on time, but I went down to support this planned event around 6.30pm....

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#16 James Ling

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 06:42 AM

Hi All...

I reached the local library area , around 7.15pm, and after unloading my scope and mount accessories, with the help of some astro friends, I setup the new 152 APM ED APO onto my losmandy G11 mount.......immediately without any delay...

This time, I can do it everything by myself , since the OTA is much lighter than my Istar which I need two persons to assist me to mount it onto the losmandy mount....

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#17 James Ling

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 06:45 AM

Hi all...

Once the scope is setup, you can see how happy are the public queuing and waiting for their turn to view through our telescope......

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#18 James Ling

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 06:47 AM

Hi All...

And I am not the only one that brought my telescope for this special occasion, but many of my other friends also came down with their scope to support this planned event...

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#19 James Ling

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 06:49 AM

Hi All...

Even one of our astronomy friend brought along this cute little table top dob....
And just to show the public , even small scopes can do wonder.....

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#20 James Ling

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 06:55 AM

Hi All...

This time we even have two big white one, here for public viewing.....
152 APM ED APO and ES 127 Triplet APO.....
And both scopes are aiming at Jupiter......
And the views from the 2 scopes are just wonderful......

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#21 James Ling

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 06:57 AM

Hi All...

You can see two more scopes over another corner for public to view...at Jupiter....

At least this time, we have plenty of scopes to allow the public to move around, instead of the long queues that used to line up behind my Istar....

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#22 James Ling

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Posted 10 December 2012 - 07:16 AM

Hi all....

Surprisingly, we have another successful event that we are so worry of the bad weather that we are facing for the past one week....

This time, although I have used a much smaller scope for this outreach, but this is also the longest time that I am standing next to my scope, from almost 8pm till 11pm....

And this is also the most enjoyable one, as I am trying out my newly arrived 152 APM ED APO......and it did not disappoint me at all, delivery crisp , razor sharp view of Jupiter, at 250X .....

Not only Jupiter is huge as it is few days away from opposition, but the moons are showing disc like objects...

Even the public are saying it looks exactly like what is in my friend's sky and telescope magazine.....

The clouds bands are so many, and so defined, that it is a pity GRS is not in view at this time.......

The session for the public ends around 11pm, and we start to use bino viewer to see Jupiter through the 152 APM ED APO....
And you must be there to understand why many CN reports so much about the 3D view through bino viewers .... Jupiter is floating......

We continue to do our own observation until near to one pm, when the clouds roll in, we packed up and headed home...

When I reached home, unload and unpack, took my shower, and while i try to download a few photos onto my laptop, I end up going to bed at 4am, coz of the response form CN members with regards to my 152 APM ED APO.....

I want to comment that we have a wonderful and successful session of this side walk......
And everyone who attend enjoyed and definitely want to come back again for another one ......

So we are looking forward for more side walk, if the situation permits, as weather is really unpredictable during this raining season....

And lastly, I thank all of you , who read my posting, and hopefully you can give me your valuable comments....

Regards

james Ling

#23 core

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Posted 12 December 2012 - 01:46 AM

James,

Thanks as always for sharing the sessions and photos - your new APM 152 looks gorgeous!

I was wondering if y'all have ever tried video astronomy as part of your outreach programs? I've had better than expected results even from a light-washed downtown surroundings, especially on brighter targets like M42 - it's almost right overhead at your latitude, which should cut down on the amount of artificial lights washing it out. imo anything from a Samsung CCTV to Mallincam should work well; get a C6 and put a f/3.3 focal reducer on it, maybe try some LPR filters, and I'm quite certain M42 will show up in color even from your outreach location!

#24 James Ling

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Posted 13 December 2012 - 12:05 AM

Hi Peter...

Thank you so much for your comments and proposal for new ideas that will make side walk or out reach activities more successful....

Yes... I fully agreed with you, and one of my astronomy friend, is also using cctv and display monitor to show the public during various out reach session, especially the June Venus transit at one of our local university....

I also have two monochrome and color cctv, and also recently purchase a FHD TV display that uses 12VDC supply from my rechargeable battery....
So this will be very useful for my future out reach activities....

In out reach, surprisingly, the public prefer brighter objects like moon and planets...., and not so much on DSO, such as bright star clusters and nebula...

And during last weekend out reach or side walk session, it seems that those people who have seen me there previously, is asking where is my ISTAR........So is like many nof the public are not 1st time at our regular session....

Regards

James Ling

#25 Skylook123

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Posted 14 December 2012 - 10:59 AM

Thank you for another interesting report. Your sessions with the public are always inspirational, and you always remember pictures, which I always forget to take!

I have been thinking of some sort of electronic display for those visitors who are handicapped or otherwise limited in the ability to get to the eyepiece. Several times a year we do a public event for our county natural resources group, and twice the same woman has attended in a wheel chair. But she has been able to climb three steps up the ladder on the big dob, with some assistance.

Thank you again for sharing the spirit with which you and Gary open the universe for the people in Singapore.

Remember that there is always a spot for you at the Grand Canyon Star Party, if you are ever fortunate enough to visit us. In the past we've had volunteers from England, Mexico, Canada, Australia, Russia, and Germany, and for several years we have been trying to work out visa issues for a volunteer from Turkey. But we haven't had a volunteer from Singapore, yet.

Please keep up the great service. It does change lives to open the universe.






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