A QUICK LOOK AT THE POOR FARM

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Rotorhead
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A QUICK LOOK AT THE POOR FARM

Unread post by Rotorhead »

Last night started off with excellent skies at the Poor Farm outreach in Westport. The location is VERY nice, on a flat field along the Westport River, down a long and winding (and a bit stony :wink: ) road.

I arrived first, followed by Rebekah, Leah, George, Tom and Mark. The gate was unlocked, so we caravaned down the road, stopping a couple of times to see if we could all make it, or if we should set up along the way. It turned out that everyone made it all the way without disturbing the rocks or losing a muffler...

Bruce soon joined us, and Matt came down scopeless, straight from work, just to see how everything was going. It was cold (35*) and a bit breezy, but Matt hung around for nearly the entire event dressed in only his office clothes!

By 7, everyone was set up, and we could here the crowd coming down the road, and obviously there were a lot of kids by the sound of it. However, the kids were all fairly well-behaved and I am not aware of any issues at any of the scopes, although one child accidently backed into my scope (it's a black scope and it was DARK). No damage, no problem, but the kid was horrified that he might have broken the scope. :D

I was on M31 for a few minutes, and then the Saturn Nebula most of the evening, which was very well-placed and bright. Others were on M31, M57, the Double Cluster, and a very nice Jupiter. I'll let them jump in and say who was doing what. Tom actually did some imaging after the crowd thinned out!

Toward the end of the session, there were only adults and older kids around, so I moved to the Veil Nebula and we discussed supernovae while everyone got a chance to see the Witch's Broom and Waterfall segments of the Veil. I had a chart printed up which showed the whole nebula, so folks could understand what they were seeing. It seemed to go over pretty well. Afterwards, I did a couple of Hershcel objects, despite a fairly aggressive moon that was lighting up half the sky. Prior to moonrise, we had an excellent view of the Milky Way - after moonrise, we could hardly see anything!

My Dob Driver pendant quit (AGAIN!!! :evil: ) near the end of the session, so I had to push the dob between customers, which is a royal pain. However, I would say that it was a very nice evening, and I hope we can get permission to use the venue for an observing evening sometime. It well worth it.

After a short but mandatory Dunkie's run, I was home and in bed shortly after 11. Nice night! :D

Thanks, Tom, for finding this event!
Bob M
15" f5 Starsplitter Dob/80mm Finder
5" Explore Scientific triplet APO on a Vixen Sphinx GEM
________
"He numbers all the stars, and calls each one by name." Ps 147:4
Bruce D
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Unread post by Bruce D »

It was a fun event, thanks for the great report Bob.

It is easy to bump a scope at night, especially non astronomers who aren't used to navigating the dark by sixth sense. I recall at Stellafane my son walked right into Dan's tripod/DSLR and tipped it over, I don't know how he managed to grab it in the dark and save it from a nasty impact with terra firma.

I highly recommend for outreach people either the tripod leg blinky LEDs
or the glow in the dark tape Matt has stuck to his tripod legs. Either would help avoid the (inevitable, given enough time) disaster.

I found the crowd to be interested and curious, and as always the kids were just awesome to see their expressions of amazement viewing Jupiter, and later on Luna.

Thanks Tom, a very enjoyable venue!
Bruce D
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Galactus
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Unread post by Galactus »

It was a great event and a lot of fun. I enjoyed the public, but enjoyed the company of fellow ASSNE-ers just as much. It was fun arriving in the dark, navigating the field and rocks together and finding a good spot, open and dark closer to the Sakonnet River. We had Milky Way with structure at zenith! Dark dust lanes. Certainly even darker than the CSP...

I had fun before and after the event checking targets and scopes. Leah's Hardin is a sweet scope even if I couldn't find the handbox...what's with that?! But I would love to check out that scope on a target higher so that I'm not bending over it. It was fun having my fellow crip, Rebekah there. Her hands were a wreck this week and after the uneven grounds of the Poor Farm in the dark, my ankles got a serious workout and I hobbled into the Dunkies later...

Bob, thanks for introducing me to Mirach's Ghost! Cool averted eye object!At lot dimmer than here in a Mirach's Ghost picture at APOD!

The guests arrive and my scope was first in the line on the slight hill...Thanks for the save, Tom! Tom wisely introduced himself and led half away to the the other scopes. Before moonrise it was very dark. Here is a taste of what happened at my scope with the really well-mannered kids and adults that I have posted on our Facebook Fan and Group Pages:
Meteors, satellites, little kids: "My favorite planet is Jupiter"..."Jupiter is spelled J-u-p-i-t-e-r!"..." Woa! There are lines on Jupiter!". .."I hate my hat and I want to look before my sister!(when informed that the 'telescope guy' pickks who goes first, young Bella politely allows her little sister, Olivia , to go first) " ..Wow! Albireo is sooo pretty!" Olivia opines. We whisper, heads together, talking about the double star's colors. She leaves the eyepiece, "Olivia knows something Bella doesn't," I say with a smile as Bella comes to the scope...

Olivia keeps the secret of Albireo until Bella sees it and then their Dad...Bella: "Albireo is so purple and yellow..." They own a scope that they need help with amd I bet we will see them at UMD and an ASSNE meeting...

What a cold, but fun event..thanks to our guests Olivia, Bella, Amy,Thomas,Elizabeth and their nice parents, who wouldn't know their gas giant from their rocky planets..but their kids do!."Do those moons always make that line? Do they stay this way?" I was asked again and again...Me:"These are moons. Think of... our own Moon, They orbit the planet and sometimes some may be behind Jupiter, and you can see the change if you are patient and spent a long evening observing..." "Wow!" "Cool!" "Really? That star up there is Jupiter?" And the parents became children...

It was a delightful night, with Milky Way with structure and dark dust lanes were visible before moonrise and fun and polite guests before we--the astronomers--met for a hot chocolate at Dunkies and we separated, happily to home ...and bed. Lots of laughs, camraderie and a fine event... Thanks for setting it up Tom!
It was a good evening and I made another good memory with people I respect, admire and like. I look forward to more. :wink:
Galactus, Devourer of Worlds
AKA, George H
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NGC7000
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Unread post by NGC7000 »

Great stuff, guys. Yes, The Poor Farm is as much an event for members as it is for the people we meet in outreach. I am so happy there were some newer members who had a chance to experience how much fun it can be getting out to a field site and serve the public at the same time.

As Bob mentioned, when things died down, I stuck the DSLR on my ED80 and took a few unguide images of M33. Not a remarkbale image, but a nice souvenier from the evening and a reminder that if you really pay close attention to leveling your scope and getting a very tight Polar alignment, you can get up to 3 minutes exposure time ( or more!) UNGUIDED with scope that has a field of view of 3 degrees or more.

Image
Tom H
Weeks turn into years, how quick they pass
And all the stars that never were
Are parking cars and pumping gas.
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Galactus
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Unread post by Galactus »

Cool,Tom! 8) :wink:
Galactus, Devourer of Worlds
AKA, George H
8" Meade LX90
66mm AT Guide Scope, cameras, etc.
25X100 Zhumell Binos w/Pete's Pipes
Bolt of Light Technologies Laser
Friends to observe with=Priceless
Bruce D
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Unread post by Bruce D »

Yeah real nice Tom, especially since it was just an 'off the cuff' opportunity!

Sweet! The Poor Farm is a good spot!
Bruce D
LGray23

Unread post by LGray23 »

Tom what a great photo!

I had such a blast at this event. I always love the outreach events because you never know who will become more interested. It's like inspriring a new hobby. The night started out not all that cold, it seemed as soon as we got set up I forgot how cold it really was. Driving down there, I'm glad I was in the front of the line because you all knew where to NOT drive, I'm sure you heard my tire hit that rock from 3-4 cars away :lol: .

I'm so glad I finally got to show everyone patiently waiting to view my telescope (after almost a year....sorry lol)

I can't wait to get all the pictures from the event, I know there were flashes coming from all different directions messing up my night vision :lol:

Overall, it was a fantastic night, probably couldn't have been any better, although could have dealt without the practically full moon. But, can't complain with how well it turned out. Thanks for the wonderful evening :)
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NGC7000
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Unread post by NGC7000 »

Just wanted to add thesde pix. I had no idea where I was shooting. I so miss my guns...I have no idea why they took them away from me...for good....

Image





Image
Tom H
Weeks turn into years, how quick they pass
And all the stars that never were
Are parking cars and pumping gas.
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Galactus
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Unread post by Galactus »

Was someone else from the Town Farm organization taking pictures? Seems like there were a lot of pictures taken... :)
Galactus, Devourer of Worlds
AKA, George H
8" Meade LX90
66mm AT Guide Scope, cameras, etc.
25X100 Zhumell Binos w/Pete's Pipes
Bolt of Light Technologies Laser
Friends to observe with=Priceless
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NGC7000
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Unread post by NGC7000 »

Yes, George. There was a fella named John from a website (?) taking pictures. I don't know where to find them. :cry:

Tom
Tom H
Weeks turn into years, how quick they pass
And all the stars that never were
Are parking cars and pumping gas.
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