HAL NEWS Plus Star Party and Outreach Reports
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.