Middleboro School outreach, 12/19

Bruce D
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Middleboro School outreach, 12/19

Unread post by Bruce D » Thu Dec 29, 2005 10:08 pm

OK, I know this should probably be posted under "Fall" but... It's Winter now!

I arrived at the Middleboro High School at about 7:30 PM. Alan Harris was already there with his dob, and Brian Tjersland was aligning his LX200 (GPS?).

The air was clear and cold. The weatherman said it was low to mid 20's but "would feel like 11 degrees". It certainly did feel colder than low 20's to me, more so than the slight breeze would account for in my estimation.

The sky at the High School has a lot of light pollution to the West and South. Overhead is not bad, maybe almost as dark as the field at the clubhouse. The East is pretty dark, and that's where Orion sat. I finished my alignment just as the first students were arriving. The student's task was to make a sketch of 2 of the objects they observed.

Brian and Alan set up on M42 which everyone liked, and M45 where the students compared the number of stars they could see with the naked eye vs how many stars they saw through the telescope.

I went to the Andromeda galaxy. It wasn't the best I've seen it, I found the best and brightest view was with the 40mm EP. The students were able to see the oval shape and the bright core.

Alan and Brian looked for a decent glob, while I checked out Mars. I was surprised to see how steady the atmosphere was, as even without a filter I was able to see a good amount of surface detail. That Mars isn't a great object for beginners was made apparent when nearly all the students were unable to see anything but a featurless orange disk. It takes a bit of practice to be able to pick out the low contrast markings on the planet.

Even at this early hour the Ring Nebula was just above the horizon, invisible in the muck.

I went to M82 so the students could compare an edge-on galaxy to the view they had of the Andromeda galaxy.

As it got close to time to wrap up the Moon had not risen high enough to observe, however Saturn rose up above the trees in time for us all to get a good look. Everyone agreed that as planets go, Saturn is far more interesting than Mars! A couple of the students were excited that they could line up Saturn in the telrad of Alan's dob and then see the planet in the EP.

By 9 PM the students had left, and being as cold as it was Brian, Alan and I didn't chat for very long before deciding it was time to pack up and head home. It was a good night, I enjoyed meeting this nice group of young people.
Bruce D
RobCos
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Unread post by RobCos » Sat Dec 31, 2005 1:46 pm

I agree Bruce. Mars is definitely a tough one when it comes to detail for young people and just plain beginners in general. Nice job and thanks for the post.

ps. "Roger Destefano" from the N H. Astronomical League says hello.
Lacking a witty and/or insightful signature line i'll just say "WHO'S YOUR DADDY!?"
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Mark G
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Middleboro School outreach, 12/19

Unread post by Mark G » Sun Jan 01, 2006 12:35 pm

BRAVO! Well done!
Clear skies,

Mark

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