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General Astronomy >> Outreach

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Reged: 04/30/05

Loc: Tucson, AZ
Re: Out reach ideas new [Re: Anish]
      #6223178 - 11/29/13 11:10 AM

My first telescope was a 10" Meade LX-5 SCT that only had a tracking motor, no GOTO. I spent a lot of time trying to make sense out of where objects were in the sky. When I started to do public outreach, I learned quickly that I had no finding skills, so I added digital setting circles and did "push-to"; they told me where to point the scope. Some of the people I work with now doing public events still have no motors or aids; it is all in their notes, and they know how to use their sky atlases very well.

The clusters I listed above are easy to find, the second time you try because you don't know yet what to expect. Keep looking around the areas where they are, and you'll eventually pick them out. They will be very nice in your telescope. Oh, and I forgot the Double Cluster in Perseus, also beautiful right now. Just mentally draw a line down from half way between the bottom pair of stars in Cassiopeia, move down toward the horizon, and a pair of star bursts will pop into view.

Take good notes before you go out, and take notes afterward. They will help a lot.

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Ely Kid

Reged: 11/07/08

Loc: South Texas
Re: Out reach ideas new [Re: WillCarney]
      #6224091 - 11/29/13 08:02 PM

The San Antonio Astronomy Association is very active in outreach. They do Wednesday night park viewing where people set up their telescopes and visitors are given a look at the night sky. We participate in major astronomy events, setting up a variety of telescopes at our schools, on a rotating basis. We have the 'Lunatics' club where people view during a full moon. The list goes on and on. There is no limit to good ideas for out reach.

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Reged: 12/31/08

Loc: Bangalore, India
Re: Out reach ideas new [Re: Skylook123]
      #6231408 - 12/03/13 01:10 PM

Thanks for the tip. and two thumbs up for digital setting circles!

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Reged: 10/08/09

Loc: Bloomington, ILL
Re: Out reach ideas new [Re: Anish]
      #6237087 - 12/06/13 10:58 AM

While most of the time now I use my Atlas with goto there was a long time I used my C-8 fork mounted. I had done the Messier club in the mid 80's. So since then I knew where most bright large objects were. In the last few years I have been about the only one showing asteroids or comets at the public events since few others had access to current data and control programs. That particular night with the unexpected visitors my drive on the Atlas was not working so I pointed the scope manually to brighter objects I knew.

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scholastic sledgehammer

Reged: 11/14/07

Loc: New Hampshire
Re: Out reach ideas new [Re: WillCarney]
      #6247759 - 12/11/13 07:52 PM

Our club (NH Astronomical Society) tries to balance inreach (member-only events, mostly for training, questions, checking out EP's, etc.) with outreach to the public.

For outreach:

First Friday night of each month we are in the parking lot of the Christa McAuliffe Planetarium for public viewing.

Saturday night closest to first quarter moon we are in downtown Portsmouth for sidewalk astronomy.

Many nights of the year we are at libraries and schools for scheduled skywatches.

During the year we do public outreach at several "big" events: Portsmouth Market Square Day, Nashua Holiday Stroll, Portsmouth Children's Day, and New England Fall Astronomy Festival at UNH.

Our calendar is full, and our lives are enriched by sharing these experiences with thousands of people every year.

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Reged: 10/28/13

Re: Out reach ideas new [Re: tedbnh]
      #6248705 - 12/12/13 10:22 AM

I wonder if a reasonable approach for outreach would be to try and create extracurricular activities like astronomy for schools. It could even consist for a light for-credit course that includes observation.

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Carpal Tunnel

Reged: 07/09/12

Loc: Albert Lea, MN, USA
Re: Out reach ideas new [Re: Anish]
      #6251601 - 12/13/13 07:36 PM Attachment (21 downloads)

I like to use a combo-dob on an EQ platform. I use an el cheapo Meade digital EP in one scope (either the XT10 or the XT4.5) in a monitor while the other scope is available for people to look through at the same target. This rig is only good for white-light filtered solar viewing, lunar, Jupiter, and Saturn.

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Reged: 07/04/13

Loc: Sheridan, WY
Re: Out reach ideas new [Re: kfiscus]
      #6252169 - 12/14/13 06:39 AM Attachment (17 downloads)

this is just to lighten the mood

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Post Laureate

Reged: 01/12/05

Loc: illinois, usa
Re: Out reach ideas new [Re: ShrekTBA]
      #6261057 - 12/18/13 11:01 PM

During more organized events, I have some lower-powered binoculars that get
passed around to those waiting for their turn at the scope.
Always have several old astro mags and Orion catalogs to give away as souvenirs.
Often I'll have a laptop playing astro vids for those in line. Comes in handy for
indoor shows in case of clouds, too.

Here's an example: The Planets at our Moon's distance


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professor emeritus

Reged: 05/14/09

Loc: New Jersey
Re: Out reach ideas new [Re: SaberScorpX]
      #6262675 - 12/19/13 09:20 PM

That's really nice I enjoyed watching it, great idea !

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David PavlichAdministrator

Reged: 05/18/05

Loc: Mandeville, LA USA
Re: Out reach ideas [Re: Anish]
      #6263746 - 12/20/13 01:25 PM

We almost always have one video camera at our events since Jack Heurkamp is a member. Typically, he has the largest crowd around his setup. It's especially good for the crumb crunchers that have a tough time trying to center over an eyepiece.

It's also a nice comparison to have, say, M57 in an eyepiece and have M57 on Jack's monitor. The form is there in the eyepiece, however, the form is very detailed and has color. It gives terrific perspective.

Same for me setting up my $59 Celstron 102 next to a 16" Nightsky dob. Talk about perspective!? In the end, it's just great fun to listen to the oohs and aahs and finding that there is some real interest in what we do.


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