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Waht to show to 15 year kids

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#1 ivazquez

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Posted 07 December 2021 - 04:35 AM

Hello,

 

This holliday I plan to make an observing session with my son and some friends of him. They are all about 15-16 years old. Depending on the permission I get from their parents, I will be able to go to a Bortle 5 sky (just near home) or go a bit further and get to a Bortle 3 sky. We live in the center of Spain (around 43º North). 

 

We have a 10" dobsonian. Of course I plan to show them Jupiter, Saturn and the Orion Nebula but I would like to know what to show them beside these objects. I plan to start the observation early (around 8pm).

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Ivan



#2 havasman

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Posted 07 December 2021 - 05:31 AM

M31/32/110

M41

M42/43

NGC2392 - use high magnification

M15

 

galaxies, open cluster, giant nebular complex, planetary nebula, globular cluster

 

If you can hold their interest that long you've done a great job.  smile.gif 


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#3 CltFlyboy

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Posted 07 December 2021 - 09:04 AM

¡Hola Ivan!

 

Dick has a great list going there. The one thing I'd add is to try to time the viewing either to a new moon or one close to new on either side.

 

On another note, I'm not sure if travel is possible for your group but there is a new astronomy group in Cataluña in Prades that hosts viewing sessions regularly. That might be worth planning a trip around, since they have equipment and expertise there too. We're looking to relocate to the coast around the Vinaros/L'Ampolla area in a few years and I'm pretty excited about the Prades club being fairly close by. They just started late 2019 and I didn't know about them when we were there then, I wish I would have known!

 

https://www.parcastr...es.cat/en/news/


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#4 astrohamp

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Posted 07 December 2021 - 09:41 AM

Go Bortle 3 if a good night, and bring binocular(s) and zero gravity recliner chair(s).  A planetarium program on red screen laptop for "discovery" of potential objects.  And doesn't it get dark earlier then that as even watching sunset and sky darkening can be an experience.  First star, first planet, first constellation...

Dress warm, good luck, and enjoy.


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#5 ivazquez

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Posted 08 December 2021 - 04:03 AM

Thanks everyone. I will try to go to Bortle 3, but it deppends on the permission I get from the parents of my son's friends. It is about 100km from home.

 

I will also look for nice double stars.

 

 

¡Hola Ivan!

 

Dick has a great list going there. The one thing I'd add is to try to time the viewing either to a new moon or one close to new on either side.

 

On another note, I'm not sure if travel is possible for your group but there is a new astronomy group in Cataluña in Prades that hosts viewing sessions regularly. That might be worth planning a trip around, since they have equipment and expertise there too. We're looking to relocate to the coast around the Vinaros/L'Ampolla area in a few years and I'm pretty excited about the Prades club being fairly close by. They just started late 2019 and I didn't know about them when we were there then, I wish I would have known!

 

https://www.parcastr...es.cat/en/news/

Thanks, for the moment I cannot travel that far. We live in Guadalajara and cannot go to Cataluña, maybe in an near future.



#6 maroubra_boy

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Posted 10 December 2021 - 07:10 AM

Hola Ivan,

Don't forget to mention what is actually visible to the naked eye! So much is visible but without knowing what it is you are seeing you just don't notice it and certainly cannot comprehend what you are seeing.

You mentioned M42. Well what about the other notable stars in Orion. How Betelgeuse is expected to go supernova & how Rigel is expected to follow, but our Sun will not. You also have Aldebaran in Taurus. It too is orange, but like our Sun it will not go supernova, but like Betelgeuse, it is the last stages of a dying star.

There are a few naked eye open clusters, the Hyades & Pleiades, both in Taurus.

Then you have the mythology that connects Taurus with Orion, PLUS Canis Major & Minor, Lepus & Colomba. Also that Orion carries a club to smash Taurus plus holds up a lion skin as a shield.

You then have the connection between Orion & Scorpius, & how a sting from a scorpion blinded Orion & he seeks the Sun to restore his vision - this is why Orion is a constellation of hope during the depths of the bitterly cold northern winter.

You also have how each individual star is wholly within our Milky Way galaxy. While there are a handful of other galaxies visible to the naked eye (Andromeda, M33 & the Magellanic Clouds), no individual stars are visible naked eye from them.

How the Milky Way in terms of galaxy size is a giant! The majority of galaxies are much, much smaller than the MW. And how galaxies get bigger by swallowing up smaller galaxies, & that the MW is currently in the process of swallowing up 6 dwarf galaxies, one of which is in Canis Major.

You can mention how light takes 9 minutes to get from the Sun to us, 8.6 years to get from Sirius to us. And if we wanted to get to the centre of the Milky Way it would take 30,000 years at the speed of light. How to get to the nearest star besides the Sun, Alpha Centauri it takes 4.3 years at the speed of light, but it would take the Voyager spacecraft 60,000 years at the speed they are moving at.

And you haven't even touched a telescope yet!! :lol: :D

Still think you only need a telescope to show them stuff in the night sky?

Oh, take a football & tennis ball with you. These are very close to the same proportion as the Earth & Moon. You can ask the kids how far apart the balls need to be for the same proportion between the Earth & Moon - 6.62m.

I will only mention one telescopic target - Uranus. Its most distinguishing feature is its bluish-green colour. If you are under a Bortle 3 sky Uranus is a naked eye object! I can see it naked eye from my Bottle 4 dark site. But transparency needs to be very good. From my site with excellent transparency I can also see fainter stars than Uranus.

So, still think you don't have enough stuff to show? :D

Alejandro.

Edited by maroubra_boy, 10 December 2021 - 07:11 AM.

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#7 CBM1970

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Posted 10 December 2021 - 08:30 AM

If it were me, I think I'd put the Pleiades and the Double Cluster on the list. 

 

I expect that some of the kids won't have looked through telescopes much before (but maybe im wrong).  I would choose DSOs that are bright and dazzling to untrained eyes.


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#8 tdfwds

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Posted 10 December 2021 - 10:54 AM

There've been some good points made, and some good objects.

 

With 10" and good skies you've lots of things, but if they're all beginners then nice to stick to low power and widish fields, as the lower the power the less refocusing needs to be done for each.  Even if they are young, not everyone has the same eyes, but at low power it doesn't matter so much, also if some have glasses there seems to be no set standard, as some like to take their spectacles off, other to keep them on, which is tricky for high power eye relief and/or exit pupil at times.  Dunno why, either personal preference, or possibly with astigmatism you still need your glasses??

 

Planets, of course, you can use higher powers, and one or two special things.

 

Binocs are good as someone send, it gives folk something to do whilst waiting, as does trying to show them the double cluster, m31 and one or two others naked eye (averted vision), preferably ones like that which have easy signposting (beta And, two faint ones, just off top faint one, for m31, and looking at the faint naked eye one directly pretty much defaults to averted vision on m31).

 

I'd probably only add M35, which is a nice open cluster, but if you have good skies or go up a little in power, you get NGC 2158 next to it, same field if careful, which is another open cluster that's even bigger, but looks far smaller and fainter as it is much farther away, which is a nice touch.  [Anybody who has seen Father Ted on TV can play the 'near and far away' game].

 

And M1 is just off zeta Tau, so a relatively easy find, with good skies, and maybe pop in midpower after low power?

 

Don't know when you are finishing, but possiblly but the beehive in last (m44) it might be naked eye by then, it'll be easy binocular.  It also has iota Cancri to the north, which is a nice easy red and blue double like Albireo.

 

If you've got GOTO do NGC 891 in Andromeda, a nice edge on one, but not as easy to see as NGC 4565 in wherever.

 

Remember some of these things recommended are good binocular stuff, but also finderscope stuff too, sword handle (double cluster) at least is quite different in a 6x30, especially if you can't comfortably get both in the 10" field of view even at lowpower.

 

etc.


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#9 Jim4321

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Posted 10 December 2021 - 11:29 AM

Be sure to have a good line of chatter / explanation for each object you show them, including distances (explain first what a light year is, and that the sky is very much 3-dimensional).  Point out that almost everything they can see with the naked eye is within our galaxy.   If they're legal where you are, be sure to take a laser pointer.  If you have binocs, let them use them while they're not at the eyepiece.  

 

Jim H.


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#10 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 10 December 2021 - 01:47 PM

The following are the top ten DSO lists for November through March from my Celestial Calendar.

https://www.cloudyni...lestial-events/

 

Top ten deep-sky objects for November: M31, M32, M33, M76, M103, M110, NGC 40, NGC 253, NGC 457, NGC 752

The objects listed above are located between 0:00 and 2:00 hours of right ascension.

 

Top ten deep-sky objects for December: M34, M45, M77, NGC 869, NGC 884, NGC 891, NGC 1023, NGC 1232, NGC 1332, NGC 1360

The objects listed above are located between 2:00 and 4:00 hours of right ascension.

 

Top ten deep-sky objects for January: M1, M36, M37, M38, M42, M43, M78, M79, NGC 1501, NGC 2024

The objects listed above are located between 4:00 and 6:00 hours of right ascension.

 

Top ten deep-sky objects for February: M35, M41, M46, M47, M50, M93, NGC 2261, NGC 2362, NGC 2392, NGC 2403

The objects listed above are located between 6:00 and 8:00 hours of right ascension.

 

Top ten deep-sky objects for March: M44, M48, M67, M81, M82, NGC 2654, NGC 2683, NGC 2835, NGC 2841, NGC 2903

The objects listed above are located between 8:00 and 10:00 hours of right ascension.


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#11 ivazquez

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Posted 11 December 2021 - 04:43 AM

Thanks again everyone.

 

I think I will stick to the brightest objects. I may look for M1. I don't have GOTO so I have to find easy objects. I may prepare the observing session beforehand at home although I don't have good skies in the backyard. If I can find them there It will be also easy to find them where we are going. 

 

Going to a Bortle 3 skies deppends on the permission I get from the other kid's parents. If I don't get their permission we will have to go near home and we have Bortle 4-5 skies.

 

 

The following are the top ten DSO lists for November through March from my Celestial Calendar.

https://www.cloudyni...lestial-events/

 

Top ten deep-sky objects for November: M31, M32, M33, M76, M103, M110, NGC 40, NGC 253, NGC 457, NGC 752

The objects listed above are located between 0:00 and 2:00 hours of right ascension.

 

Top ten deep-sky objects for December: M34, M45, M77, NGC 869, NGC 884, NGC 891, NGC 1023, NGC 1232, NGC 1332, NGC 1360

The objects listed above are located between 2:00 and 4:00 hours of right ascension.

 

Top ten deep-sky objects for January: M1, M36, M37, M38, M42, M43, M78, M79, NGC 1501, NGC 2024

The objects listed above are located between 4:00 and 6:00 hours of right ascension.

 

Top ten deep-sky objects for February: M35, M41, M46, M47, M50, M93, NGC 2261, NGC 2362, NGC 2392, NGC 2403

The objects listed above are located between 6:00 and 8:00 hours of right ascension.

 

Top ten deep-sky objects for March: M44, M48, M67, M81, M82, NGC 2654, NGC 2683, NGC 2835, NGC 2841, NGC 2903

The objects listed above are located between 8:00 and 10:00 hours of right ascension.

i think I will also look for some of the  december and january objects in this list sice we will go out at the end of december.

 

I like the double cluster and the Owl Cluster. They are easy to find and quite stunning.



#12 Dave Mitsky

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Posted 11 December 2021 - 11:29 AM

Thanks again everyone.

 

I think I will stick to the brightest objects. I may look for M1. I don't have GOTO so I have to find easy objects. I may prepare the observing session beforehand at home although I don't have good skies in the backyard. If I can find them there It will be also easy to find them where we are going. 

 

Going to a Bortle 3 skies deppends on the permission I get from the other kid's parents. If I don't get their permission we will have to go near home and we have Bortle 4-5 skies.

 

 

i think I will also look for some of the  december and january objects in this list sice we will go out at the end of december.

 

I like the double cluster and the Owl Cluster. They are easy to find and quite stunning.

M1 may be a disappointment.  

How long will you be observing?


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#13 ivazquez

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 04:47 AM

M1 may be a disappointment.  

How long will you be observing?

Thanks,

 

I'm not sure. I think 3-4 hours, depending on the weather and the tiredness of the teens. I will tell them to dress warmly but I don't know how long they will hold.



#14 maroubra_boy

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 07:41 AM

3 hours is too long.  4 hours is fatal.

 

Aim for 2 hours, any longer will be determined by the enthusiasm of just a few of the kids.  Push them longer than two hours and you will lose your audience.  A few may want to stay on longer but let them decide.  If it all finishes in two hours, then the rest of the night is all yours.


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#15 ivazquez

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 12:04 PM

3 hours is too long.  4 hours is fatal.

 

Aim for 2 hours, any longer will be determined by the enthusiasm of just a few of the kids.  Push them longer than two hours and you will lose your audience.  A few may want to stay on longer but let them decide.  If it all finishes in two hours, then the rest of the night is all yours.

I want to start early soy I can show then Jupiter and Saturn. It will be amazing for them if we can see the Great Red Spot and the Cassini Division. 

 

I don't want to miss M42 that raises a bit late. I will check the times so we can aim for 2 hours or so.



#16 Jim4321

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Posted 13 December 2021 - 04:52 PM

For that long of a session, have them bring (or you supply) snacks and drinks, and just in case, a roll of toilet paper.  A small camping shovel, if available.  It would be nice if you can supply as many red flashlights as possible, or a smartphone app that reddens the light app.    

 

Jim H.


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#17 ivazquez

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Posted 14 December 2021 - 07:50 AM

For that long of a session, have them bring (or you supply) snacks and drinks, and just in case, a roll of toilet paper.  A small camping shovel, if available.  It would be nice if you can supply as many red flashlights as possible, or a smartphone app that reddens the light app.    

 

Jim H.

I will bring some snacks and will try to get some hot drinks. I only have one red fashlight. I will try to find a cheap one.



#18 Jim4321

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Posted 14 December 2021 - 09:25 AM

A few layers of red cellophane or automobile taillight repair tape will turn any cheap flashlight into a red one.  Best of wishes, hope you have a fine evening!

 

Jim H.  


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#19 astrohamp

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Posted 14 December 2021 - 10:58 AM

Ground cloths and binoculars, also i-phone planetarium software on red screen for constellation and object identification/location.  One to manipulate the planetarium, other to find in binos.



#20 jprideaux

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Posted 30 December 2021 - 07:39 AM

I had a successful event with some kids of that age back in August looking at Jupiter, Saturn, Venus, and moon where I showed the kids how to aim the telescope with my red-dot finder to find things themselves and then just let them use the telescope on their own. I, of course, suggested what to look at and what it was. Having them actively involved worked well to keep their interest (instead of just passively looking at something I got in the eyepiece). Of course one needs easy targets to find if they do it. If you want them to see harder to find things, you will need to do that for them.
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#21 csrlice12

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Posted 02 January 2022 - 12:50 PM

I'd think with a group of 15-16 year olds you'll be too busy watching over them to do much viewing....you may need more adults to help so you can "focus" on what you're there for.


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#22 A8N6B3

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Posted 06 January 2022 - 12:08 PM

Hello,

 

This holliday I plan to make an observing session with my son and some friends of him. They are all about 15-16 years old. Depending on the permission I get from their parents, I will be able to go to a Bortle 5 sky (just near home) or go a bit further and get to a Bortle 3 sky. We live in the center of Spain (around 43º North). 

 

We have a 10" dobsonian. Of course I plan to show them Jupiter, Saturn and the Orion Nebula but I would like to know what to show them beside these objects. I plan to start the observation early (around 8pm).

 

Thanks in advance,

 

Ivan

may i also suggest some DSOs deep sky objects?



#23 RockyMtnRR

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Posted 06 January 2022 - 02:51 PM

I will only mention one telescopic target - Uranus. Its most distinguishing feature is its bluish-green colour. If you are under a Bortle 3 sky Uranus is a naked eye object! I can see it naked eye from my Bottle 4 dark site. But transparency needs to be very good. From my site with excellent transparency I can also see fainter stars than Uranus.

Unfortunately the obligatory English language pun session that would follow Uranus with a group of 15 year olds won't work in Spanish.




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