Saturday, May 28, 2022

AIR day 20 - item 5

The following is a blog post from the Astronomer-In-Residence (AIR) web site, reproduced here. Text and images used with permission.

Day 20 blog entry.

Saturday 28 May 2022 - 6:00 PM: The Last Show

The final full day…

Did a bit of pre-packing. Loaded non-essentials or used/done items into the car. No astronomy activities planned tonight so that gear could be stowed.

a few small sunspots

Checked for the state of our star today. Active Region 3023 is a big one. A double?

Inspected the 16-inch dome after removing all my stuff. Put various park gear items in the astro-closet. Opened the 10-inch dome in advance of solar observing. Moved my eyepiece case over there. Grabbed the old park bins (for projection experiments). Took at least one blackfly bite. I think I saw a Grey Catbird!?

Touched based with Chuck Allen of the Astronomical League from his home in Kentucky. We want to chat in detail about our respective observing certificate programs...

Bumped into Kate. She thanked me for all my efforts. I'm grateful for all her support.

Almost lost my Ontario Volunteer Service Award pin. Dang.

12:45 PM. Spotted Harrison, my helper for solar observing. I had him serve as a model for some operational shots of the Losmandy mount.

We enjoyed a good view of the Sun. I had no trouble with the dual spot group AR 3023 at our 4 o'clock position and AR 3024, a single, at the 5 o'clock.

While we waited for park visitors, we talked about astronomy history. Hans Lippershey invented the magnifying instrument, initially for a military application, which Galileo later turned to the night sky. Had my dates wrong at first; that was in the early 1600s. Then Newton and others made 'scopes with mirrors. In the mid-1900s, Mr Schmidt made his camera lens. A compound design with lens and mirrors. This led to the three common telescope types today.

We received our first visitor. She said, "Tell me everything." Where to start! Not my job; just a hobby. Self-taught. Voracious reader. She was a raw beginner so I recommended NightWatch by Dickinson. Showed her the Sun in the 'scope but unfortunately the contrast was degraded because of the wispy clouds. Hold the phone... In those wispy, ice-cold clouds, we spotted parhelia, a beautiful full 22 degree ring, very colourful. Gave her The Evening Sky Map and Getting Started in Astrophotography handouts.

A full family came through and the two little boys immediately ran into the dome and started pulling on the eyepiece - yikes! I dashed into the dome and got everyone settled down. The view was getting soft but I think they all enjoyed looking at the Sun.

I had Harrison shut down the 'scope and close up the dome. He thanked me; I thanked him!

Put the solar filter and bins away.

And that's it! My last program was completed.

Looking cloudy so tonight I'll relax.

The Astronomer-In-Residence program is coordinated by the Allan I Carswell Observatory (AICO) at York University with the Killarney Provincial Park Observatory (KPPO).

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