Solar Astronomy Outreach at Tulita Elementary School

Thursday afternoon, October 18th I did a solar astronomy educational outreach at Tulita Elementary school in Rancho Palos Verdes, an upscale community located in SW Los Angeles County. I gave a short Powerpoint presentation to a group of 60 fifth graders. There were a few questions I could not answer, as I am “Not Smarter than a Fifth Grader”…. Then I joined fellow South Bay Astronomical Society members outside with solar telescopes.

We had four telescopes set up. I doubled up my setup, showing the sun in white light with my 10 inch telescope, and in hydrogen alpha light with the TIE Coronado Helios 1 solar telescope piggybacked on top. The Helios telescope was able to show prominences erupting off of the edge of the sun’s chromosphere.

Arnie, the secretary of the club, ran the club’s Coronado PST h-alpha telescope, so he was also able to show the chromosphere. Two other club members showed the sun in white light.

The view in white light was bland, as the sun had absolutely no sunspots on that day.

But the kids had a great time and asked a lot of questions. As usual, the most common question was how much the telescopes cost…

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~ by matthewota on October 20, 2007.

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