With our nice late summer weather showing signs of fall I thought I would get my butt out the door and start the IOMN event early.
Tuesday was showing a wonderful just before first quarter moon with Aristoteles and Eudoxus craters right on the lunar terminator along with Mare Serenitatis western wrinkle ridges in a fine display. Wonderful sight to kick off this weeks lunar fest !
Elyse came by early on while still light and said "I have been looking for you forever! Where have you been?" She had heard about the SUG from other walkers around the park and just happens to be a good friend of my son's girlfriend. And it was very recently that she was able to connect these two astro guys as the same. Well she was really enjoying the early evening lunar excursion and came back later with pal Andy and lots of questions. These two made nice astro music together at the scope sharing questions and enjoying the whole Lunar and Jupiter experience. I had 32 visitors and that was really good for a Tuesday night.
9/15/10 Wednesday evening started out on the windy side so my plans to put out my resource table went by the wayside. But I got C8 up and running quickly and people started to gather. With so many lunar delights to show off it was hard to stay on just one. But this familiar crater trio bought wows to the masses with lunar day break showing up on central peaks with pitch black crater floors! The pictured family stayed glued to the scope and enjoyed astro presentations for a good hour with the kids being like sponges absorbing everything ! Dad and mom along with grandmother were heartily involved with this outdoor school experience. Mom really was shocked and delighted with the stark beauty of the lunar surface and dad enjoyed Jupiter's moons and Red Spot show. I had 41 visitors and many want to come back later in the week to experience more of the unfolding show.
9/18/10 Well its finally here - the night of nights so we're official now with our outreach to the public concerning the moon. I wanted to get out on Thursday evening but was prevented due to some allergy symptoms. So here I am anticipating a fun evening out and the park looks a little quieter than expected and sure enough it is. I really thought that with the fine weather we have been having that the place would be bustling with activity but no. I can't leave now for I have had several hits on my Night Sky Network address so I am committed to the cause right here. I am glad that the folks that were aware of the InOMN and inquired did saw up and their interest level was indeed high. Early on the Bay of Rainbows and the Jura Mtn light show held top billing much to the delight of the budding Selenographers but later on the sunrise on the Gassendi/Letronne crater complex was stirring the minds of the viewers. Tiffany and son Hunter enjoyed a bit of Lunar exploration with oohs and wows following every new discovery.
All totaled over the course of three outings during the week I had around 100 visitors. I estimate about 25-30 walked off not wanting to wait for others in the line to the scope before them. But those that stayed and participated got to enjoy old moon a bit. Fun conversation filled the air, space science was taught, some pseudo science debunked, new friendships made, and some imaginations ignited!