Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Update From SUGLand

The Sidewalk Universe Guy is busy; helping Tom with his garage sale dob ( which is coming along nicely and should be making a debut at this coming Sunday's 1/30 Meetup ) and me getting prepared and overseeing the Meetup group itself. This new outreach adventure is a bit of work on my end but the early results are very encouraging in spite of our cloudy skies for the first two events. Hey these guys want to learn! I still have other people joining Suburban Sky Explorers too, yes more too infect!

This Sunday we were clouded out but everyone showed and followed the lesson plan which included mimicking seeing the sky and orientation with the star wheels. This group really put their hearts into it and it will pay off later on when things clear!

Here's our group all bundled and warm! I had several call in sick so we were shy 3. To my left is Chris a new member as of the day before who acquired a Celestron C5 Sct NextStar Scope recently and is now seeing the need to learn the sky and put this scope to good use! We spent a half hour at the end with his scope talking eyepieces and needed items to get him ready to enjoy it. Michelle with the white hat and scarf invited the SUG to do a astro night for her ladies Meetup Group! So we will be planning this with the help of another new SSE Sarah who joined us last week but was sick for tonight's event. I hope there's some fun food at this astro Meetup with a ladies bent!

Fred and John were very much into the program and it is now starting to make sense this sky navigation. Fred and Sidewalk were very geeky with our headlamps!

Here is Chris using the power of imagination learning the sky. Once we are oriented the rest is easy!

Hoping for clear sky this Sunday!

I also did a trial run with the new solar wedge - this is one beefy item! It is built like Fort Knox and has some weight to it though CR150 was not taxed at all with this addition on his tail end. I love the built in solar finder - see the left side of the wedge that white dot is the Sun!

The image quality is excellent and the wedge eliminates all the false color and ghosting associated with achromatic refractors using lens cell mounted filters. There was no problem seeing solar granulation, solar curvature, and the two small sunspot groups just jumped out at you. The biggest thing for me will be the ease that inexperienced observers will have looking through this as it is a picture window experience with the 2" format! Next up Tom is going to help me fashion a scope mounted sun shade so my visitors will not have to squint at the eyepiece.

SUG Solar is coming to a walkway soon!


Johany said...

It's so good to see that even with cloudy skies you and your group still had a blast! I wished I lived in Reno!

Sidewalk Universe said...

Oh Johany you and Riddick the 10"Dob would be a welcome addition. I think this group would enjoy your contributions of YOUR LOVE OF THE SKY & music! Besides they would enjoy looking through Riddick too!

I know winter is hitting you with a vengeance and the cursed "new scope blues" but clear sky is coming your way!

Johany said...

I'm telling you...I can't take any more of this snow! We got slammed last night bad, and we're going to get hit on Saturday too.

I just want to go out on a date with Riddick already! :)

I have to be patient, that's all. Your new astro buddies seem like a jolly good bunch! It looks like they're having a blast with the SUG! Oh Yeah!!! :)

Sidewalk Universe said...

Hey Johany things are starting to come together a bit. They are seeing the vision behind the process and method I have them in. The real key in my mind is if some more of the folks start acquiring scopes. I am selling the 8"Orion Dob which I am hoping one SSE'r will want. Part of the deal with the scope is that they get me as part of the sale to help them get oriented! HAHA :) Who would not want SUG!

But if someone picks it up we will be socked in for a while - right?

Johany said...

Now that's a heck of a good deal!!! I'll take 2! :)