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Outreach and Mercury Transit November

solar outreach
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#1 Prasad

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 07:05 PM

Guys

 

I have been doing outreach events regularly at my grand daughter's elementary school for the past few years. I have had rather excellent attendance. The event is announced by email and facebook to the parents and they attend by bringing their kids. I always choose the Friday following New Moon because there is always the crescent moon up in the sky. The only day time event was on the solar eclipse day. I set up two telescopes for that. My C8 with Thousand Oaks filter for visual use and my iOptron Smart Cube 80f5 for video display on a large screen TV monitor. I had nearly 800 participants. 

 

Now I have a question. What is the best for the Mercury Transit on Nov 11th? This will also be a long event (5+ hours). Would C8 + Thousand Oaks glass filter be the best or should it be the video? Solar eclipse was when the school was closed for summer break but this time the school will be operating. 

 

Thanks

 

 



#2 DLuders

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 07:16 PM

If you had 800 participants before, I would imagine that the video display would accommodate more people (in a short amount of time) than a glass filter.  The silhouette of Mercury against the Sun's disk will just be a round dot.  Maybe we'll get lucky and there will actually be SUNSPOTS too; that would provide some contrast and perspective.  smile.gif 


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#3 Prasad

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Posted 13 September 2019 - 08:02 PM

If you had 800 participants before, I would imagine that the video display would accommodate more people (in a short amount of time) than a glass filter.  The silhouette of Mercury against the Sun's disk will just be a round dot.  Maybe we'll get lucky and there will actually be SUNSPOTS too; that would provide some contrast and perspective.  smile.gif

Eclipse was more of a social/community event. People came and joined the party and had a good time. Thanks to the media blitz I remember most people took the day off and enjoyed. This time for the Mercury transit I do not think it will be the same. School will operate like any regular day. I think at the most kids may be allowed to come out for a few minutes to view. Honestly I have no clear idea. My wish is to make the best out of event.  



#4 Celerondon

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Posted 16 September 2019 - 01:54 AM

Although I agree with DLuders idea about the ability a video display to accommodate more people in a short amount of time I also think that you may not get a big rush of this people this time.  As you mentioned, this transit is different from the total solar eclipse.  School is in session and this event is not as big a deal as a total solar eclipse.   During similar daytime outreach events, I encountered small batches of kids across an extended period of time as the teachers scheduled their classes through the science enrichment activity.  In one case, the number of class-sized batches grew during the day as teachers heard about the solar filter equipped telescope and asked if their classes could participate.

 

Are you tempted to setup both telescopes?  If not, I am going to vote for the C8 plus Thousand Oaks glass filter.  Despite the advantages of video I still prefer it when children get the tactile technical thrill of looking through a real scientific instrument. sct2.png Telescope.gif

 

Here is a suggestion that I plan to use during my next daytime outreach session.  If you have the time and inclination perhaps you should bring some low-tech props.  Although we both understand that your telescopes are the ultimate props and setting them up and operating them will take up much of your time and attention my idea won’t distract you and it could make your tasks easier and more effective.

 

Make, take, and display some posters!  If you devote a day or two to organizing or locating some basic information about transits, telescopes, and or the Sun then a trip to a local printer could make explaining things simpler and less repetitive.  Have the print shop mount your poster(s) to make it (them) rigid.  Purchase some inexpensive easels from Amazon (I already have mine) and you could display your posters where students and teachers could view them.  I predict that the teachers would intuitively direct children’s attention to your posters as the queue edged toward your telescope.  Ideally, some kids would beat their teachers to the punch by explaining the science and equipment to their classmates before the busy teachers even had time to read the posters. waytogo.gif


Edited by Celerondon, 16 September 2019 - 01:55 AM.

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#5 Prasad

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Posted 17 September 2019 - 08:20 PM

I made a small progress. This morning I remembered that I had met a teacher at the school a couple of months ago and she had told me that she was the STEM organizer for the school district. I emailed a brief description of Mercury Transit. She responded back welcoming the idea of holding an outreach event. So my event is now ON. I have to start planning the equipment. I have got some ideas here in your replies. I will start working. 


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