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Shared a session with a neighbor , I think he enjoyed it.


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My next door neighbor has shown an interest in space and science in conversations we've had over the wall, so when the skies looked clear last night I decided to invite him around to look through my telescope. He seemed pretty excited and told him it'd be ready in about half an hour.

I got the scope set up, collimated, finders aligned and tested the sky a bit. Transparency was good as M42 was clearly visible despite it not being dark yet (8:45) and the half moon. I checked the moon out and saw that (although tube currents were still fairly strong) seeing was above average. Looks good so far.

He comes around at 9:00 and we talk a bit about what is in the sky at the moment and show him some of the main constellations. Then get him to find roughly where M42 is in the sky before showing it to him. He first thought the nebula was a halo around the trapezium, when I put the 10mm eyepiece in he said "it looks a bit like a cloud!". He asked questions about it like what is it made of why does it glow etc. So i think that was a success.

I also showed him Pleiades which got a good response as well. It was relatively easy to see for him without optical aid so I think he enjoyed seeing it right up close as well as having some perspective.

I then moved him on to some double stars, I showed him Mizar(a&b) & Alcor and how they interacted and some history about how ancient civilizations used it as an eye test. I also showed him Algieba which thankfully the seeing conditions allowed for as it is a relatively tight double.

I didn't think it would be possible due to low altitude (and it being directly above the city lights) but I tried to find M31. Sadly it was not to be found but I did manage to show him M51! Despite the light pollution and moon M51 showed as two faint blobby patches. It was easier to see in the 10mm (though very dark!) and I think he appreciated seeing it.

Now obviously I saved the best for last, not least because after looking at the moon he wouldn't be able to see much else for a while!

I went straight for the 10mm. Had a quick look first to see how the seeing had changed since 8:45. It was almost perfect, the detail seen on the lunar surface was unlike any I've seen from my own garden before, and man was my neighbor impressed! He said "it's like you're there, you can tell it's been beaten up a fair bit as well" He spent more time looking at the moon than anything else that night.

I think we might have a convert :) he goes on a fair few holidays in his retirement so I might advise him to get a pair of binoculars for when he travels abroad.

 

A good night, for sure!

And a picture I took of the moon after he left.

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Hope you guys have some clear skies too :)

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Very nice work covering a range of objects and information :-) 

Actually, I've got an acquaintance who needs help with a telescope they bought for their son and I think I'll use your session as a template.

Thanks


Ady

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great to get a positive response from the neighbours. And to get a good night is surely a bonus :)
I was doing some maintenance on the obsy and was chating to my neighbour over the fence. He saw one of my images on the monitor and and we got talking. I printed one that he liked and gave it to him and he said that if I was imaging to give him a shout and he'll knock the insecurity lights out. opening a dialog can indeed be a good thing. He still thinks I'm as mad as a cut snake for standing out in the freezing cold though. Didn't have the heart to tell him about the warm room ;)

 

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If you really want to show off and have a Wooow moment, then head for Saturn. 

I have never seen a newbie not impressed by looking at Saturn through a telescope. It is a mind alternating and beautiful experience to the jewels that are accessible in the universe ,that home astronomers reach from back yard telescopes ? ?

 

 

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1 minute ago, Timebandit said:

If you really want to show off and have a Wooow moment, then head for Saturn. 

I have never seen a newbie not impressed by looking at Saturn through a telescope. It is a mind alternating and beautiful experience to the jewels that are accessible in the universe ,that home astronomers reach from back yard telescopes ? ?

Sadly there aren't any planets around in the evenings at the moment. When the different planets reach opposition I'll probably reach out to him again :)

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43 minutes ago, pipnina said:

Sadly there aren't any planets around in the evenings at the moment. When the different planets reach opposition I'll probably reach out to him again :)

 

Yes Saturn is a late riser at the moment, before dawn is probably best.

I don't suppose the neighbour would appreciate a very early morning call. ? ?

 

 

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Nice one. If we all got our neighbours on side by doing this they would be less inclined to leave "security" lights on all night. A good way to collectively reduce light pollution.   :icon_biggrin:

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