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My coronavirus protocol

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#1 Frisky

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 04:08 AM

Earlier this summer, my neighbor asked to see NEOWISE, so I established a virus safety protocol to allow him to view. Tonight, a friend of another neighbor asked to see the planets. Normally, I hide from neighbors during the pandemic, but this kid came out of nowhere. He explained he had never seen Jupiter or Saturn through a scope. He was around 18 years old. He agreed to follow my directions, and I gave him a great view of the planets. To start, I wouldn't allow him near me as I set up. I put on a mask and cleaned everything with a Clorox wipe. I then placed a fresh eyepiece in the focuser, focused it and called him over. I stood about 10 feet away and allowed him to watch the planet drift across the FOV. I then kicked him out of the area, placed a new eyepiece into the focuser, focused and called him back for Saturn. I used my laser to point to the focusing knob in case things weren't in focus for his eyes. He was pleased, as he called it the most awesome thing he'd seen all summer! His buddies were making fun of him for enjoying the view through a scope, but he shrugged it off. He only had around a 1 minute view of each planet, but that was enough for a lasting memory. We talked about the planets, including Mars, and when he left, I took everything inside to be disinfected with a weak beach solution, keeping it off the glass. I used lens cleaner on the glass of the eyepieces. I don't recommend outreach during the pandemic, but if it's only 1 person, and you take precautions, you can do it safely. 

 

Joe


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#2 MarkGregory

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 04:50 AM

Earlier this summer, my neighbor asked to see NEOWISE, so I established a virus safety protocol to allow him to view. Tonight, a friend of another neighbor asked to see the planets. Normally, I hide from neighbors during the pandemic, but this kid came out of nowhere. He explained he had never seen Jupiter or Saturn through a scope. He was around 18 years old. He agreed to follow my directions, and I gave him a great view of the planets. To start, I wouldn't allow him near me as I set up. I put on a mask and cleaned everything with a Clorox wipe. I then placed a fresh eyepiece in the focuser, focused it and called him over. I stood about 10 feet away and allowed him to watch the planet drift across the FOV. I then kicked him out of the area, placed a new eyepiece into the focuser, focused and called him back for Saturn. I used my laser to point to the focusing knob in case things weren't in focus for his eyes. He was pleased, as he called it the most awesome thing he'd seen all summer! His buddies were making fun of him for enjoying the view through a scope, but he shrugged it off. He only had around a 1 minute view of each planet, but that was enough for a lasting memory. We talked about the planets, including Mars, and when he left, I took everything inside to be disinfected with a weak beach solution, keeping it off the glass. I used lens cleaner on the glass of the eyepieces. I don't recommend outreach during the pandemic, but if it's only 1 person, and you take precautions, you can do it safely. 

 

Joe

Fantastic, good job and thanks for the tips. Mark


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#3 iwannabswiss

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 07:12 AM

It's nice that you were still willing to share the views; it sounds like the kid did enjoy it.


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#4 BrettG

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 08:14 AM

Very cool - and good job keeping it safe for both of you.

 

Maybe when all this is over, he'll be back to share some more.


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#5 DSOGabe

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 12:16 PM

That was a great way to do it, good thinking. I agree, if its only for 1 person, maybe 2, and everyone is very careful, its doable.

I didn't think of something like this when my neighbor with the lighted football stadium backyard (6 bare bulbs) saw me and commented, "Maybe I can see someday". I could have shown her how her lighting impacts on my viewing. But now I have an idea of how to approach it.


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#6 Frisky

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Posted 14 August 2020 - 09:32 PM

I invited the kid back when the pandemic subsides. As much as we love to show people the Universe, it's not worth chancing. If you get in a bind, like I did, just refuse all close contact and disinfect your equipment. Also, a few minutes only, and outside at that, isn't going to get you sick, provided you're careful.

 

Joe



#7 Newbutnotreallynew

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Posted 15 August 2020 - 02:57 PM

It was really kind of you to go through all that effort. It's touched me! Thanks. 


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#8 Frisky

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Posted 16 August 2020 - 12:35 AM

LOL! I didn't think of it as a lot of effort. It's not ideal observing for your guest, but it's better than telling them no and only takes keeping them at bay for you to set up and also wiping off the equipment when they are done viewing. 

 

Joe




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