Entry for April 18, 2006, Outreach with Shelley Bonus

  The weather is warming up here and it sure warms up my spirit.  Seems that I am always happier when the skies are clear and the sun is shining.
   I did an outreach two Saturdays ago with fellow astronomers Shelley Bonus, Carroll Devault and April Labrecque. We are all ex-TIE telescope operators, and we drove up to Malibu Creek State Park to do an astronomy show for a group of teachers who were camping out there.  I set up my LX50 and had it set on Saturn all evening.
  April set up her Celestron 8 inch SCT next to me and needed my battery and DC powered hair dryer to clear the dew off of her front corrector lens. It was the first time I used the dryer and it worked surprisingly well.  My front corrector lens never dewed up because I have a long dew shield that I always place in the front of my telescope. 
   Carrol used his big Dobsonian Reflecting telescope, a 12 inch behemoth with a big red tube. His telescope, like all other Dobs, sets up very quickly as it only needs to be set on a base mount and it is ready to go. My telescope taks longetr to set up, with leveling and polar alignment, as well as computer calibration before it is ready for use. But the Dob lacks a clock drive, and has to be constantly manually adjusted to keep objects in the eyepiece as the earth rotates.
   Shelley did her astronomy act, which is  an unconventional mixture of science and comedy, as she utilizes her talents as a actress and comedian (see photo). She usually does well with the children with her cartoonish appearance and mannerisms.  Compared, to her my presentation is the exact opposite, with my monotone delivery and serious mannerisms .
  The real star that night was the planet Saturn, riding high in the sky with the rings open and satellites in view. Saturn rides high in the early evening sky near the Gemini twins Castor and Pollux. It will be in good viewing position through May. I will try to get some images of it soon.


~ by matthewota on April 18, 2006.

One Response to “Entry for April 18, 2006, Outreach with Shelley Bonus”

  1. What a great shot of Shelley!

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