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First Outreach Event

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#1 Stargaz18

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 12:34 AM

In 2 weeks I'll be attending my first at Copper Breaks State Park here in TX. They have them once a month from April through November and invite the public and anyone with a scope. I'll be camping there over night and bringing my scopes. I'm starting to wonder about things to look at that'll be good for anyone to see. I'm figuring Jupiter, Mars and Saturn to start with but don't know what else might be impressive to the public in my 9.25. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, Patrick

#2 seawolfe

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 04:44 AM

Well, I just set my Stellarium for Wichita Falls, TX and for April 26 around 8:30 PM. Gee whiz, you have the Milky Way going across the sky...and you're asking WHAT to look for? :confused: :grin:

#3 James Ling

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 06:24 AM

Hi Patrick.

Unlike mine is conducted at a very heavily light polluted city, whereby only can show the moon and bright planets...
If yours at Copper Breaks State Park is having darker sky, with your C9.25, it will show many wonderful DSO....that I couldn't....
Wish you have an enjoyable event....

Regards

James Ling

#4 csrlice12

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 10:03 AM

Better the moon an planets then sitting around talking about cloud formations...... :whistle: :flower:

#5 Stargaz18

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 03:17 PM

The state park is definitely a great dark sky site. Only 1 or 2 very small and faint light domes from small towns. I hadn't looked at stellarium yet Seawolfe, only the sky map in Astronomy and it shows the Milky Way close to the western horizon. But if it's up more then there'll definitely be some targets.

#6 MikeBOKC

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Posted 12 April 2014 - 05:49 PM

The following Ms would all be good:

42
51
82
104
65-66

#7 Raginar

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 08:48 AM

If you're only doing visual I'm concentrate on planets and globular clusters. Most of the very bright nebulae will be below the horizon. If you had a big dob, I'd suggest something like the Dumbell or the snowball since they have quite a bit of color in them too.

#8 Stargaz18

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 04:50 PM

It'll all be visual, don't think anyone would be interested in watching me take pictures. Guess I'll have to wait to see how well the conditions are. I'm not sure how many people will be there with scopes, so if someone has a huge dob I'm sure that's what'll get the most use. Thanks for the suggestions Mike and Chris!

#9 Doc Willie

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Posted 13 April 2014 - 08:54 PM

This list should give you enough objects to work on.

#10 btb

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 01:35 PM

The best advice I can give you is don't worry about what other people are showing to the public. Find a target you have some knowledge about and show and tell that object. Also don't be afraid to say "I don't know." Even though most people at public gatherings aren't very knowledgeable about astronomy, do not lie to them. If you don't know or aren't sure about a fact tell them you don't know. Then write it down and look it up later so you have a few more facts the next time you go out. Oh have fun they won't bite and they are not going to sue you if you are wrong.
Remember this is a hobby not life or death.

#11 Stargaz18

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Posted 14 April 2014 - 06:55 PM

Thanks for that advise Les! Not knowing how many scopes or how many people will be there I figured to just wing it and see what happens. The park is kind of out in the middle of no where, so it my be just whom ever happens to be camping there that night. I'm completely self taught, with the help of you folks and books, so my knowledge is somewhat limited. Thanks again for the advise and your service! USMC vet myself.

#12 btb

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Posted 15 April 2014 - 07:27 AM

Thank you for your service. At some of the public events I have helped with, if there were more telescopes than public, time was spent viewing through peoples equipment and comparing views with your scope. That is also a good time to check some of the faint fuzzies that you would like to spend more time observing.
Let us know how things go. I'm sure you will find it was worth your time. Have fun and enjoy.

#13 tedbnh

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 01:01 PM

Saturn will be amazing in your 9.25. No reason not to show that all night if new people keep coming by. If Titan is visible, don't forget it's the only place in the outer solar system we have truly touched (Huygens probe landed in 2004 - bring a picture of Titan's surface to show).

Jupiter's four Galilean moons are always a hit, as are the cloud bands on Jupiter (explaining they are seeing "weather on another planet" is always a crowd-pleaser). If you can find a picture of the page of Galileo's notebook online where he sketched the positions of the moons each night, print copies and pass them out. It gives folks (esp. kids) a direct connection to the first human to ever see those moons, just over 400 years ago. Ask them to find the night when the positions of the moons in Galileo's notebook matches the positions on your night of viewing.

If you are showing the moon, bring a copy of Sky & Tel laminated moon map in the orientation that matches your scope (regular or inverted). Circle a few easily visible craters on the map in dry-erase marker and ask folks to find them in the eyepiece.

In each case, you are asking them to actively observe and try to find an object. This engages their brain and lets them see more than they would in that first glorious moment of vision when it's just overwhelming.

#14 csrlice12

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Posted 22 April 2014 - 03:23 PM

Planning on attending an upcoming night, but first I gotta figure out this EQ Platform....






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