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Tim

Collecting Wows!

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Tried a bit of an astronomy outreach event yesterday afternoon, with the help of @Grant and @tich.

We had painted planet rocks for the kids to sort into order, and solar scopes set up in the daytime. The sun decided to play ball and produced some sunspots, and Tich kindly gave away solar glasses and goodies. Most impressed with Grant's solar mount that just finds the Sun on its own and tracks it perfectly, what was that called again Grant?

From 8.30pm onwards the guests started turning up, and early visitors had their appetite whetted with wobbly views of Venus. The forecast was rubbish, but we stuck it out and magically the clouds cleared enough to give us time on Jupiter, Saturn, and Mars, and later the moon. I do so love hearing "OH WOW!" the first time somebody clocks Saturns rings, and especially when they are children, makes the whole effort worthwhile. We didn't count, but I think 50 or 60 or so guests turned up. Youngsters that had showed particular aptitude for astronomy earlier in the day had a few extra targets demonstrated, including M57, the double double, and Albireo, which of course was a highlight for many too. 

It was all great fun, despite the fullish moon and patchy cloud skies, and we had some very grateful feedback on facebook from the parents and other visitors.

A big thank you to Tich and Grant, and my other helpers for making the effort and journey over, and bringing together an enjoyable and successful event. My facebook feed is alive with people asking "When can we do it again????"  :D

Edited by Tim
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What a great account, Tim.  Made me smile that.

I am very much amongst those of us, of which I am sure there are many, who gave out a great big WOW when first seeing Saturn's rings, so I can picture their excitement.

Well done to you and all.

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Absolute pleasure Tim!

We were really lucky to have some nice sun spots and proms to look at. The mount is a Sky-Watcher SolarQuest and for outreach it is absolutely superb!

Last night was the first light for our new outreach / demo 18” Stargate and it didn’t dissapoint even under challenging conditions. It’s always fantastic to show people Saturn for the first time and is still one of the biggest reasons I’m in the hobby!

Very much looking forward to doing another one so definitely sign me up ?

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P.s your painted rocks solar system was awesome! Such a great way for kids to learn - will definitely be trying to make something similar!

693846EB-A647-4869-92A5-BDF107702FC2.thumb.jpeg.ba7d6fddc45761a8de63d30f3077525f.jpeg

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Awww I love the fact that you kept little left out Pluto in there too.

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Sounds great, Tim. You all seem to have had a great time. Very rewarding.

In light of that it may seem churlish to point out that it’s Albireo. ?

There have been a couple of threads where this has come up and it would be remiss of me not to point out the misspelling this time round. I’ve found myself carrying a torch on this subject. It’s not life or death and there is no acrimony involved! ?

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I love demonstrating at outreach events. The wows (and sometimes more colourful language) when viewing Saturn are more than worth the effort.

Edited by DirkSteele
Typo
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33 minutes ago, Grant said:

P.s your painted rocks solar system was awesome! Such a great way for kids to learn - will definitely be trying to make something similar!

693846EB-A647-4869-92A5-BDF107702FC2.thumb.jpeg.ba7d6fddc45761a8de63d30f3077525f.jpeg

Oooohh very talented! 

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26 minutes ago, Floater said:

Sounds great, Tim. You all seem to have had a great time. Very rewarding.

In light of that it may seem churlish to point out that it’s Albireo. ?

There have been a couple of threads where this has come up and it would be remiss of me not to point out the misspelling this time round. I’ve found myself carrying a torch on this subject. It’s not life or death and there is no acrimony involved! ?

Not at all, thanks for the correction. I always get confused with Albireo and Beetlejuice :)

 

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34 minutes ago, Grant said:

P.s your painted rocks solar system was awesome! Such a great way for kids to learn - will definitely be trying to make something similar!

693846EB-A647-4869-92A5-BDF107702FC2.thumb.jpeg.ba7d6fddc45761a8de63d30f3077525f.jpeg

Thanks Grant for the pic. I especially enjoyed drumming the rhyme into the kids, and we made such an emphasis on Pluto that I reckon the kids will include it in their list of planets too :)  Let me know if you do an event where we could use these. I don't have lots of time, but if I can help, I will.

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The WOW's and the OMG's are the best part for me. It puts a huge smile on my face every time I hear someone say it while looking through the eyepiece. Just wait until you have someone start crying from shear awe.

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Would the solar quest be able to accommodate an ED80 with say a Quark attached?

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Have only once produced instant tears with Jupiter, it is my favourite astro moment involving others.  

If you are thinking about getting involved,  here is some of the feedback we had:

 

I just wanted to thank you so much for inviting Angela to star/planet/moon gaze yesterday.  She absolutely loved it and even converted me to have a dabble too!  Your time, thoughtfulness and expertise were exceptional and she is already talking about the planets and the famous Saturn ring.  Personally, I found it amazing that our world is so small to what is around us and the fact that there is equipment for us to see what's right above our heads is beyond words.

Thank you again - it was so much appreciated

 

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Sounds like an excellent time was had by all, its always lovely to hear the excitement of the next generation of astronomers. Those rocks are superb! 

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This is 6yr old Ben, he has a very rare form of cancer  :(FB_IMG_1535291133061.thumb.jpg.9b45469f2e3e178935a632db4ae52a27.jpg

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More feedback comments:

-It was awesome! Tim was taking email addresses from anyone interested in future astronomy events so I’m sure if you message him with your details he will keep you informed.

-What a fantastic night at Russells Garden Centre astronomy evening. Seeing Saturn’s ring actually made my heart pump faster! Thank you so much to Tim and the team for putting on this great event

-Thank you thank you thank you my daughter had the best time - rock hunting in the morning and star gazing with a hot chocolate in the evening ?

-We went - loved it. We saw Saturn, Mars and the moon. Thanks Tim


-It was mind blowing to see Saturn’s rings and Jupiter’s bands. Many thanks to Tim Jardine and the other experts there for a great evening!

-A big thank you to Tim Jardine for hosting the astronomy night tonight, it was really cool to see the planets, moon and stars up close and learn a little more about the night sky.  Thank you also for spending a little time with my two children earlier in the day.  Would love to come to a similar event later in the year where I could bring them along. 

-The astronomy day was a fantastic theme and the artwork you guys had done was amazing. You are so talented. The planet rocks need to be sold as I would buy one! The pinnacle has to be the telescope at night so my daughter could see Saturn! Her holiday is now complete!!! Thank you very much. She also got some rocks see below which she will cherish! The cafe is great and we will be back regardless!

 

Again, huge thanks to Tich and Grant, who made the event possible 

Edited by Tim
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Really lovely that people have also taken the time to provide feedback.  Great job guys you must be, rightfully, well pleased :thumbright:

Edited by RayD
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Great stuff guys. We'll done to you all. I'd love a set of those stones. 

Edited by LukeSkywatcher
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38 minutes ago, LukeSkywatcher said:

Great stuff guys. We'll done to you all. I'd love a set of those stones. 

They weren't hard to make Paul, just sprayed some flat glacial stones black, and then drew circles and filled them in with acrylic paints, and finished with lacquer to seal them. I hope we can use them on other occasions. My colleague and I painted them in less than an hour. These are the stones : http://www.stonemarket.co.uk/product-pacific-paddlestones-300-450mm

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Inspiring post, made me smile. Nice to see the kids smiling and enjoying our great hobby. ? 

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Sounds like a great time had by all.

Congrats for putting on an obviously successful event guys.

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