HAL NEWS Plus Star Party and Outreach Reports
April 22, 2017 - Members Star Party
Well it was cloudy tonight and the rain ended so viewing didn't happen. Besides everyone had enough of this weather to stay home. Hope May has better weather.
April 8, 2017 - Public Star Party
The clouds cleared out for our star party and came back right at the end. We had 9 different member telescopes setup outside as well as the HALO equipment, all sharing views of the Moon, the Orion Nebula, and Jupiter among other targets. We had about 40 people show up to share views and a few even brought their own binoculars. Thank you everyone who came out last night.
I had a great time running the 16” Meade at Saturday’s star party. However the moon was almost full and it washed out many of the deep sky objects. I would rather have a thin crescent moon than one that is almost full at star parties. I think this makes for better moon viewing as well. ...
March 25, 2017 - First HAL Members Star Party of the Year and 1st Cloud Out
At last night's clouded out Member's Only Star Party we had a total of 4 attendees (3 plus me). No rain, but cloudy and not even sucker holes. Well, the spring peepers were in full voice, a positive sign.
Ed. Note: Actually two of the other three "attendees" were the evening's CTO and CTA so there was really only one member attendee.
March 4, 2017 - First (and Coldest) HAL Public Star Party of the Year
The night started cold and windy but the skies were clear so nothing was going to stop a great night for a star party. We had 14 different member's telescopes setup outside of the observatory working with the Watson Telescope to provide views.
We started off with Venus and the Moon which was having an occultation-fest that night. Early in the evening we watched the moon poke out stars from the Hyades star cluster, as if it was practicing for its main event against Aldebaran. As the night progressed, we viewed more planets, the Orion Nebula, and Messier 81 & 82, to name a few. The cold temperatures tried to make it an early night but we held strong to watch the beginning of the Aldebaran's occultation before packing up and heading home.
We had 70 visitors by the end of the night some arriving right up to 11 PM. Thank you to everyone for coming out and helping to make it a great evening. Clear skies!
March 3, 2017 - Robinson Nature Center Outreach
Wayne Baggett and I had our telescopes up at the Robinson Nature Center this evening from 6:00 to 8:00 and showed views of the crescent Venus and nearly 1/4 Moon to visitors. The sky was mostly clear when people were coming in for the 6:30 planetarium show and then after the show, at 7:30. I had to go inside to do the 8:00 show, so Wayne and Katie Peet (RNC staff member) handled the viewing. 43 people attended the 6:30 show and 27 attended the 8:00 show, and most of them looked through the telescopes. Many adults, and all the kids, had never seen a crescent Venus, so it was an excellent opportunity to do a little teaching. The wind died down and it was cold, but it was fun.