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Light Pollution - quantified by an 8 year old

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#1 DaemonGPF

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 10:06 PM

http://www.flickr.co...57633405395307/

This may be very fundamental, but thought it provides an excellent visual for those of you who wonder just how much LP can hit you where it counts - in your images.

My daughter, Aurora was tasked with formulating a science project for part of her final grade, and also as part of a competition. She's 8yrs old, and in the 3rd grade, but extremely advanced for her age (testing about 2 grade levels beyond where she is currently at in all respects). They gave everyone in the school a generic list of 20 or so projects to pick from, or optionally can come up with their own. The presentation and science fair is this Friday.

Anyway, as you can probably already anticipate, a majority of kids will likely pick from the generic list and present basically the same concepts. Aurora wanted to do something that stood out. I suggested perhaps that she take advantage of her telescope, and use her astronomy and astrophotography background. I'm certain this will be a unique presentation as none of the kids in her grade at this school have a telescope, and most have never seen through one until she and I did an outreach event at the school. So you guessed it, I recommended she explore why I take us to truly dark sites whenever I can.

She came up with a scenario that she could replicate in both a dark site and from a light polluted area. The pictures spell out the rest.

#2 Footbag

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 10:28 PM

Very cool science project! She looks to be on the astronomy fast track.

Pretty interesting comparison of visual and imaging as well. It would probably make a nice presentation for an astro club.

#3 DaemonGPF

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Posted 04 May 2013 - 10:33 PM

Funny you should mention - she's presenting Friday at a local club after the school fair. She was also interviewed by the local press about 2 weeks ago while she was working on this project. I believe the articles are coming out in tomorrow's print.

As for the rest - she's already getting the itch and wants a better scope. Her dob is a push-to intelliscope.. I wanted her to learn a bit about locating objects in the sky before being spoiled by automation. Now that she's been pushing hard to do afocal imaging with it and having some success, she really wants a motorized scope and camera adapter set. I'm thinking of getting her a Nexstar 4SE since it is light enough for her to manage on her own, and has a decent focal length, plus a built in wedge. She can get going on planetary with it.

It's only a matter of time... She better get a job soon because there won't be a fight over photon time with my gear LOL.

#4 Hilmi

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 01:21 AM

Josh,

I wouldn't be as worried about sharing equipment as when you get your Christmas wish list and you find a last minute addition that for AP36000 GTO and a 20" RC scope along with rotator, adaptive optics and a nice camera to match. That would be scary coming from an 8 year old.

Ohh yeah, one more thing, make sure you'r daughters interest doesn't die out, its wonderful to see an 8 year old do this kind of project way beyond her years. My 2 year old son was fascinated with the moon and always wanted to go through this really boring book I have on observing the moon, but it had lots of pictures of the moon. I made the mistake of moving my astronomy library to my observatory and since then he has sort of lost interest in the moon. Now I am working so hard to get him back into it. Make sure to continue supporting that wonderful daughter of yours :)

#5 DaemonGPF

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 07:24 AM

Thanks Hilmi. There's no doubt I'll continue to encourage her. It's something very different that most kids don't get to enjoy to this degree. My wife and son have zero interest, and I don't have anyone super close to stargaze with. Who knows, maybe she'll run with this ultimately as a career and I might be the one begging for photon time on her gear! We all know we need more advocates against light pollution too.

As for gear, if it will keep her engaged, we'll of course find ways to make sure she's got what she needs to keep involved and growing. I'm lucky she's small right now. She can't self-manage a C11 and GEM yet. But I don't have very long before that becomes a reality. Perhaps I better start another "astronomy fund" to save into LOL.
:cool:

#6 Cliff Hipsher

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 07:33 AM

Bravo!

#7 rigel123

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 09:07 AM

Now that is way cool!

#8 REC

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 09:41 AM

Josh, I know you are very proud of her and that project. It is outstanding for a girl her age. I wish I could have lit that flame in my daughter, but alas, she picked other interests. At least she like one of my hobbies, photography.

#9 shawnhar

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 10:02 AM

That's awesome!

#10 CounterWeight

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 10:56 AM

Nice work! A topic that will impact her generation as time moves forward.

#11 guyroch

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 11:15 AM

Josh,

Papa is proud... and rightfully so :bow: :bow: :bow:

This is an awesome project and it will serve as an excellent ah moment to the entire community I hope.

Your 8 year old daughter just reminded me how bad imaging in a yellow (bordering green) zone is... but this is where I live and it's convenient.

Maybe I should reconsider where I live :question:


Guylain

#12 fishonkevin

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 02:36 PM

Kudos to Aurora for tackling a tough topic.

#13 zerro1

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 03:04 PM

Very Cool Josh!

#14 DaemonGPF

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 03:27 PM

Thanks everyone, I appreciate the positive feedback and I know Aurora certainly will. I'll have to let Aurora read this in a little bit. We just returned from running a marathon this morning in ABQ and everyone is busy getting cleaned off and fed at the moment.

Jim - you hit the nail on the head. Our generation has it bad, hers is going to have it worse. Might come a day when all there is to do is narrowband imaging, sadly. I really hope this project of hers raises some eyebrows, even if she doesn't win the competition.


:cool:

#15 zjc26138

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 05:45 PM

Josh,
Very awesome project. Kudos to your daughter and you. :)

#16 DaemonGPF

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 07:04 PM

Thanks, Zach! I merely made a suggestive course of actions, she really did the bulk of the work on this which is good because I think she really learned something out of the process. (I did show her how to turn some excel points into a chart though - kind of ahead of her experience level currently.)

#17 Erskin71

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Posted 05 May 2013 - 08:40 PM

Way cool. Congrats on a great project.

#18 proteus5

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 02:16 AM

Very nice presentation, Congrats!!!

#19 DaemonGPF

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Posted 06 May 2013 - 08:47 AM

Thanks guys! I'll post again on Friday after the results come out.

#20 hytham

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Posted 07 May 2013 - 03:57 PM

Josh,

Papa is proud... and rightfully so :bow: :bow: :bow:

This is an awesome project and it will serve as an excellent ah moment to the entire community I hope.

Your 8 year old daughter just reminded me how bad imaging in a yellow (bordering green) zone is... but this is where I live and it's convenient.

Maybe I should reconsider where I live :question:


Guylain


I'll take yellow bordering green any day over my location - red bordering a white zone. I have to drive one hour to get to a green zone and 1.5 hours to get to a blue zone. Gray zones are about 2 hours away.

#21 DaemonGPF

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Posted 10 May 2013 - 12:09 PM

Just got home from the science fair. I've attached a few more pics in the album showing the kids setting up, Aurora and her presentation, and one with her and a judge who was evaluating her project. She did great! There were some other really good projects in there as well. She landed a perfect score from the Judges, so now they are going to group up and vote on the top projects for the awards. Won't know the ultimate results until later today.

http://www.flickr.co...57633405395307/

#22 Domerman

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Posted 13 May 2013 - 02:06 AM

Josh, I absolutely love this! You have a really bright daughter and you are an awesome dad! Kudos to you and her! My dad got me involved in astronomy during my early teens and it has now become a life long passion for me (I'm 25 now) ever since that first time we looked at Jupiter together. Btw, your daughter has an awesome name!

#23 DaemonGPF

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 08:47 PM

Thanks Steve!

Announcement - SHE TOOK FIRST PLACE!!! Got her certificate this afternoon finally!

#24 DaemonGPF

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 09:06 PM

Here she is!

Attached Files



#25 proteus5

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Posted 17 May 2013 - 09:36 PM

All Right!!!!! Congrats!!! and I bet your smile is as big as hers!!!!!






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