International Year of Astronomy

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International Year of Astronomy

Postby joshpeek » Sat Mar 21, 2009 3:00 pm

So, it's the international year of astronomy (IYA) this year - 400 years since Galileo pointed his telescope skywards. I am a professional astrophysicist, with a little knowledge of the visible sky, and I was thinking of getting like minded people together to do some kind of IYA activities at the burn. If you are interested in participating in brainstorming, write back! Here are a couple ideas:

star parties: the most obvious, of course, would just be to gather in the deep playa and have a star party or two. I have given laser-pointer guider tours before at the burn, and they turn out very nicely. The Milky Way, Andromeda, the moon, the pleides, etc.

Galileo scope: there are some very cheap 'build-your-own' telescopes being made for IYA09. I thinkt hey are 15 bucks apiece, and can look at a lot of nice night sky objects. We could build them and then make them.

plane crossing: a weird fact - the plane crossing of saturn's rings is friday at the burn. I am not sure what one can do with that, but there it is.

full moon: it's full moon at the burn as well - upside: nice moon to look at - downside: more light pollution.

sun spotter: we could do some kind of daytime sunspotter activities? Build a super-big sun-spotter? We aren't yet at maximum, but I there should be some sunspots, and, if we are lucky, prominences.

Anyway, contribute your ideas. Perhaps we will coalesce around something.


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Postby wedeliver » Sat Mar 21, 2009 4:55 pm

Hi and welcome, I see this is your first post since you joined in January.

I think your idea ROCKS


I will be bringing my telescope or two, although as you indicated this year is gonna have lots of moon light.

Perhaps a tracking telescope can be setup and send the image to a screen of the moon. Then everyone could see that construction project going on up there.

btw there is another thread or two about telescopes this year...
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Postby Thecatman » Mon Mar 23, 2009 5:17 pm

Cool idea! I've always had an interest in astronomy. I (had) a Celestron C90 but don't anymore. I have a pair Parks 11x80 binoculars that I was'nt planning to bring but will if your idea pulls through. You mentioned a full moon, another draw back is contrary to what many people think, you don't look at a full or near full moon through a telescope or binoculars. I don't think it can cause permenant eye damage but it's not a wise choice.

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