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International Observe The Moon Night

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#1 Skylook123



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Posted 18 October 2013 - 08:22 AM

My wife Susan and I had a great night Saturday for International Observe the Moon Night. My club, the Tucson Amateur Astronomy Association, supported several groups who combined with the Flandrau Planetarium at the University of Arizona, with indoor exhibits and speakers at Flandrau, and about a dozen telescopes set up on the UofA Mall out front.

My wife Susan ran our Mallincam Junior on the moon using my 90mm Orion ShortTube refractor. and displaying Luna on a 13.3" monitor, while I set up my 10" SCT on NGC457, The Owl Cluster. In three and a half hours we had over 200 visitors at our setups alone. They could look at the moon on the monitor and reference a display I set up using four Powerpoint slides; the full moon with features identified, an overview of the lunar orbit and phases, a diagram of a lunar eclipse, and a picture of a full moon with the Lunar Rabbit, Lunar Poodle, and Lady in the Moon highlighted. Plus, Susan was a high school science teacher for many years and taught astronomy, and has her own collection of tektites so she let people touch pieces of the moon while she used the monitor and display to her crowd.

Meanwhile, the Owl did it's usual show for the visitors, one at a time at the eyepiece. The location in Cassiopeia allowed the introduction of the Navajo Native American point of view of Big Dipper, Polaris, and Cassiopeia making one constellation of the Revolving Male symbolizing the male role of security for the family, Polaris being the home fire or Hogan, and the Revolving Female representing the nurturing of the family. Since the assemblage is circumpolar, the Navajo cultural point of view is that no matter where one wanders, the focus is on the family and the home. Quite a bit more life affirming than the Cassiopeia story, and rogue bears terrorizing a village.

It turned out to be a great night for the video display, since all of the visitors could easily compare the video view of the reversed image from the refractor, the overhead first quarter moon, and the poster display. We were always four to ten deep at her setup the whole night. Another score for video outreach.

The next three nights I will be setting up for a variety of outreach and teaching opportunities. I will use the video on the SCT, since the image will be left-right correct and easier to teach.

#2 StarStuff1



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Posted 22 October 2013 - 10:56 PM

Nice outreach session(s)!

#3 Pharquart


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Posted 23 October 2013 - 01:29 PM

I will use the video on the SCT, since the image will be left-right correct and easier to teach.

Can't the Mallincam do a horizontal or vertical flip in software so the image shows up correct on the display? Anytime I do outreach using the moon and my Dob, the most asked question is why the image is backward (upside down, actually).


#4 csrlice12


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Posted 23 October 2013 - 02:32 PM

Turn your monitor upside down?

Just explain that the mirrors do this, just the nature of using two mirrors..its physics...

for a close example, tell them to write their name on a piece of paper and hold it up to a mirror, it appears backwards, then explain your scope uses a system of mirrors and lenses, and it is just inherent in the design.

#5 Skylook123



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Posted 23 October 2013 - 02:36 PM

Yes, it can, but I'm usually in so much of a hurry to get the public events set up I don't tailor the image to the OTA. Too lazy to do the right thing. Plus, if I use the SCT, I can hop over to DSOs much easier with the guided mount rather than the 90mm's tracking only. Also, I hate using the buttons on the back of the MCJR with my fat fingers. Just got a new MCJR PRO with the wired controller, so fat fingers are done. And finally, I just didn't think about using that feature!

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