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JOC

Request for support/advice - Solar Outreach

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All my experience with academic astronomers/astrophysicists suggests Stu may well be right!  

Helen

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I've had another thought too... there's a total solar eclipse on 2 July (S America) if you are doing the even after that you could show some really neat timelapses (taken from the livecams footage) and do some demos about how/why eclipses happen (I've got some activities and posters for that too 😉 )

Remember, if the 'pro' astrophysicist is coming it is because they want to help and encourage - they'll be on your side 😉 

Helen

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14 minutes ago, Helen said:

I've had another thought too... there's a total solar eclipse on 2 July (S America) if you are doing the even after that you could show some really neat timelapses (taken from the livecams footage) and do some demos about how/why eclipses happen (I've got some activities and posters for that too 😉 )

See that shows what I know - I had no idea about this eclipse!   Sounds like I'd better request some power and see if I can get a computer wound up, I was going to ask for power for the tracker on the scope anyway - the event is the Basildon street science festival on the 13th July.  We had a great time last year - I blew up balloons with vinegar and bicarb!

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8 minutes ago, JOC said:

See that shows what I know - I had no idea about this eclipse!   Sounds like I'd better request some power and see if I can get a computer wound up, I was going to ask for power for the tracker on the scope anyway - the event is the Basildon street science festival on the 13th July.  We had a great time last year - I blew up balloons with vinegar and bicarb!

You should maybe try to mimic Helen's rocket competition in some way, although you need her magic launcher system which can put a Saturn 5 in orbit with just a few pumps of air, albeit one a foot long and made from paper 🤣🤣

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6 hours ago, Stu said:

You should maybe try to mimic Helen's rocket competition in some way, although you need her magic launcher system which can put a Saturn 5 in orbit with just a few pumps of air, albeit one a foot long and made from paper 

Well I did consider lauching something, but in a busy shopping precinct you have to be careful what you do.  I understand the STEM organiser is going to organise rocket propelled 'mice' though.  Which I think involves making simple 'fingerbobs' and blowing them off the ends of empty plastic drinks bottles.

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So I've spent the afternoon making things for the event.  I now have a set of pictures and printouts about the sun all laminated.  I've been to the Baader web site and printed out their info about the film my filter is made from so I can show where it has come from.  I've also made a small game from the pictures of the planets that I was pointed at - I have a set of laminated planet pictures and a set of names - I'll go shopping for a big tub of sweets tomorrow - any child that can match all the names to all the pictures gets a sweet (does that sound the right sort of level to pitch it?).  I've made a pin-hole camera to show the simple method of construction (and it works! - I've never made one before!!) and the kids can play with that too - I might make several if I can find some more boxes.  I'd love 200+ boxes so every child could have one to take away, but this isn't practical, but if I can show the kids how easy they are to make and use they might make one themselves.  I used that YouTube video method that I posted.   I am going to take the telescope and hope for a cloud-free day too.   If I can find the kit I might also take the vinegar and bicarb, balloons and bottles etc.  just in case it's dull too!

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Posted (edited)

So here we are this looks like the kit that will be going.  It's been hit an miss this morning trying to decide what to take.  Months and months ago I bought a solar finder (like a pinhole camera tech), I thought I'd try it out - in place it makes finding the sun a lot quicker.  Cue much swearing as I  cracked the plastic screwing it onto a foot to go into the Skywatcher finder holder.  Currently held together with Gorilla tape (yeah! like that looks like I know what I am doing!).  Then I realised that once the finder was in place the dot of the sun in the middle of the finder didn't equal the sun in the middle of the telescope.  Mmm....reverse engineer the problem.  Put sun in middle of telescope add black magic marker dot to the plate on finder where the sun was at that point.  Now if I Put the sun on the finder dot it's in the telescope 🙂  I'll just check and re-spot tomorrow if necessary.  I have been experimenting with size and believe it or not out of all my EP's the little 26mm Skywatcher plossl the scope came with is just the right size to get the whole sun in the EP.  I might take something closer to as well, but the 26mm gives a good view and I won't want to be chopping and changing all day.  NB.  Have you any idea how difficult it has been checking the setup with 70%+ cloud cover?!!

So here it all is, the set-up I am intending to take, do I look solar safe for 'outreach activities' with my home-made Baader filter - held on with mini bungees and home-made shroud? - apparently I should be able to lay hands on power so it should be possible to get it solar tracking which would be a big help.  Going to work on hand-outs etc. this afternoon, find a table, pack car etc.  early start tomorrow - we have to be there before 0830.

20190712_123607.jpg

Edited by JOC

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