AL MasterObserverC #24
The Cheapest Astronomer in the World gets excited by Jupiter. Builds dob, builds eq platform, arranges to borrow webcam...
Quote:I have had kids with sticky fingers,kids, and some adults, that grab the scope for support,a few "happy" drunks,but nothing major, or damaging99% or more of the viewers have been respectful, grateful, politeedj
Orion xx14g Dob CPC 1100 w/Skywatcher 80ED piggybacked Coronado PST TMB 92L refractor AT Voyager mount Nexstar 6/8 mount Denk Big Easy binoviewers Oodles of eyepieces and other optical gadgets Past scopes Meade 8" reflector and 8" SCT
Dr. Willie K. Yee President Mid-Hudson Astronomical Assn.Member RAC, AOSNY, IDA, Astronomers Without Borders, Charlie Bates Solar Astronomy Project
NexStar 50 Expert, Lunar 50 Expert; AL Outreach, Messier, and Sunspotters AwardsCommander Prius Class Shuttlecraft Zhang HengTeeter 13.1" f/4.5 Custom Dob, NexStar8 SE, Meade 80mm f/6 ED Apo, Meade 363 f/10 80 mm, Lunt LS60THa, PST dbl stk
SteveE I used to ask "Why?" a lot. Now that I'm older I ask "Huh?" and "Why?"
"A telescope is either good or cheap, not both" - but sometimes you get lucky!
Scott my scopes: a few refractors (50-102mm), 2 Newts (4.5-12"), and an 8" SCT
Nine telescopes of a diverse nature. My Web Site Cosmic Cat: a children's book about astronomy for iPad. English Lessons for Amateur Astronomers
Tim Gilliland http://astrobin.com/users/Timgilliland/
Quote:I have a public Sidewalk event monthly at the local Community Center. I set up a 17.5 Discovery PDHQ, and all of my EP's are TV. Yes at times the kids get a bit excited. By reminding them to always keep two hands on the ladder they don't seem to bother the scope. yes I do have to remind some kid's more often than other's. In my advertisment it states that small children must be accompanied by an adult. I have been doing this for going on two years and have had zero problems. I have had many repeat viewers over the years and that is rewarding in itself. It is a VERY rewarding experiance for me.
Quote:Quote:I have a public Sidewalk event monthly at the local Community Center. I set up a 17.5 Discovery PDHQ, and all of my EP's are TV. Yes at times the kids get a bit excited. By reminding them to always keep two hands on the ladder they don't seem to bother the scope. yes I do have to remind some kid's more often than other's. In my advertisment it states that small children must be accompanied by an adult. I have been doing this for going on two years and have had zero problems. I have had many repeat viewers over the years and that is rewarding in itself. It is a VERY rewarding experiance for me. I just noticed you're in Sand Springs, how is it? My wife and I are moving to Owasso next week from Washington DC, I predict we're in for a culture shock. (I grew up in Chelsea so I know what to expect)
Quote:I have family in Fredricksburg that I have visited many times. It amazes me how similar it is. Probably the primary differance is the traffic and LP. Both being much more bearable in the Tulsa area. Another great advantage is with a couple hour drive you can get to grey sky's. When you get here look us up on the Case Community Center's web site. They don't post the dates but if you call them they will let you know the next scheduled Sidewalk event. Oh, and Owasso has grown dramatically in the last few years. Sand Springs, not so much.
Quote:Quote:I have family in Fredricksburg that I have visited many times. It amazes me how similar it is. Probably the primary differance is the traffic and LP. Both being much more bearable in the Tulsa area. Another great advantage is with a couple hour drive you can get to grey sky's. When you get here look us up on the Case Community Center's web site. They don't post the dates but if you call them they will let you know the next scheduled Sidewalk event. Oh, and Owasso has grown dramatically in the last few years. Sand Springs, not so much. We'll only be in Owasso for a short period of time. Living with my parents for a month or two as my job doesn't start for a little while, have to wait on those pesky licenses. We'll be buying a house in the next 12-14 months though, so we'll have plenty of time to get to know the area and see what town we like best. I'm kind of liking the idea of some of the subdivisions being built by Keystone Lake Park, like Golden Shores Estates and The Bluffs. Some nice looking houses with water frontage and dark skies, can't beat that.
Quote:I found having a walker for kids to grab onto helped a lot.
My eyepieces are made from the waste product of exploding stars. 10XTi 102XLT ST80A(2" Focuser) XW: All; XO: 2.58 Televue: Naglers-T1 Smoothside-full set, 17T4,12T4,Ethos 17,4.7; plossels-40,32,20,17,&7.4mm; Pans-22,24mm; Delos-6,8,12,17.3mm ES100: 5.5,9*,14,20 ES82: full set ES68: 16,20,24,34 NLV: 5,9,10,15 Ortho: HD-7,9; OPS-9,12 Meade RG 7mm Other: Pentax 12.5K(.965), 10mm Parks Zoom: Nag3-6 *=on b/o DAS Dark Site
Quote:This is an issue that I think every astronomer faces at some point. A lot of these comments are dead on while others seem to be highly negative for reasons that, to me, seem trivial and sound more narrowminded. Outreach is VERY important to our hobby as I have seen. I don't have nearly the amount of time that some of you guys do. I have about 28 events, 97.5 hours of SP time, and have let approx 9,100 people look thru my scope. Out of those 9 thousand plus people, only a handful of kids (3 or 4) have been "problems". No damage to my scope. I will say that I've had to inform some kids and parents about how to use the scope and that has helped big time. The no touch rule is repeated about 600 times a night along with a description and explination of what they will see. I agree with the statements about a cut off age. There seems to be a range of kids who just cant understand how to look. I'd say a good age to begin telescope observing would be around 7-9. The parents do get a lot out of it as well and its always fun giving them a deeper understanding than I think the kids would understand. All in all, outreach is astronomy's future. The meeting are "greying" and yes, there are younger generations like myself (29) who are deeply involved but there needs to be more. We're about to enter an age where space travel will be quite common so we need these kids now to get interested and begin taking steps to be those next to fly. I understand the frustration but the benefits out number the risks, in my experience. I don't have kids but I still have no issue guiding these little ones and helping them understand something that all of us take for granted. To a kid, the cost of a scope means nothing, so perhaps put yourself in their shoes and try to explain things in ways they can understand. That includes how to use a telescope. Great discussion BTW. I visit the George Observatory frequently and enjoy helping with the public.
Quote:In 2009 I started volunteering at the Super Star Party at a park by where I live, the whole night is tailored towards children and getting them into astronomy. I didn't own a telescope at the time but came and helped people set up, break down, clean up...whatever they needed, and in return I had a lot of 1 on 1 time with the guys who brought their scopes and got to hear what they had to say and learn a bit on a more personal level. One of the guys had a real nice 12" solid-tube dob, a DIY project with some exceptional optics...I was lucky enough to spend a good hour looking through it until it was attacked. Attacked you say? One of the kids (probably 4th or 5th grade) picked up a handful of rocks off the walkway and hurled it right into the end of the tube, right in front of me, the owner, AND his parents. Then when confronted the parents told him that "kids will be kids" and refused to offer compensation saying that in the dark his telescope looked like a trash can and it's not their fault that their kid mistook it for one. The whole argument went on for about 15 minutes with the dad actually threatening the guy a few times (the first after being told the price of the mirror the kid broke!) before park rangers called the police to come settle things. The family tried to bolt after the cops were called but the rangers were having none of it and parked their SUV behind their car. Not sure exactly what ended up happening. After the whole ordeal went down they ended the event for the night and we were all asked to go home.
I've never done outreach with my scope because of this night, I'd love to...believe me I would, but I don't know how I'd handle that situation if placed in it. I would be more then happy to set up for a older audience but I don't think I could handle kids . It's unfortunate that the possible actions of 1 overly rambunctious kid are responsible for my way of thinking but it's a risk I'm just not willing to take.
Now I'm just 31 so I really can't say "back in my day" because it wasn't that long ago lol, but, back in my day I remember my parents taking me to a star party when I was no older then 11. I remember standing in a single-file line of other children patiently and quietly waiting for our turn to look through the eyepiece while we listened to the instructor (for lack of a better term) talk. Times have changed, even though not a great deal of years have passed. I hate to say it also but it's usually my generation I see not being able to control their kids in public.