It took a bit longer than we had hoped to get to this outreach, as initially we went to the wrong campus… Oops! Fortunately we realized our mistake and arrived at the correct campus with enough time to set up, and it was a fun night. There was one quiet kid who I didn’t mention in the Night Sky Network log, who I tried for a minute or two to help look through the eyepiece, but he couldn’t seem to understand that it wasn’t a nosepiece… Such is outreach! Definitely worth it.
Night Sky Network Log:
Event Date: Friday, 2/24/2017
Name of Event/Service: Starry Starry Night (St. Francis Episcopal School)
Type of Service: Public Outreach
# of Hours: 2
Description of Service Performed: We set up around early sunset in the playground. I used my Orion XT8 to show the kids Venus and Mars. The children came around in groups of 5-6, overall the scope was busy about half of the time.
Comments: There was one boy who came around with the first group, then again with the last group! He impressed me quite a bit! While it was still light, the call came around that Mars was beginning to be visible (I was unable to see it for another 5-10 minutes). He seemed quite interested and smart, and he had been examining the Telrad, so I asked him if he’d like to find Mars. Despite the telescope being significantly bigger than he was, he used the Telrad to point it directly at Mars (which I still could not see), and then he leapt to the eyepiece and exclaimed “There it is!” I checked in the eyepiece to find that he had indeed centered it directly on Mars, first try! No small feat, considering that I’ve been using this telescope for 2 1/2 years, and it still takes me several tries to find Mars at such high magnification (the eyepiece used was a 9mm planetary, for 133x magnification and 0.4 degree FOV).