Saturday, April 16, 2011

Solar Saturday 4/16/11

This Saturday saw a shift in our weather with temps in the 70's with somewhat cloudy skies. But there is plenty of Sun to be seen with Sun Spot Groups 1190-93 really putting on a show. These are a joy to watch as they shape shift and wax and wane in intensity! I am totally enjoying using the solar wedge with it's tack sharp views and 2" format which affords everyone a easy viewing experience. I am glad that I purchased this device. Expensive yes but worth it and very safe indeed. In fact on this outing (darn missed the picture op!) one 90 year old lady had her first chance to view through a scope and "see those darn spots that keep interfering with her ham radio hobby!" She is still very angry with them but was spell bound by the view! I had her tell me what she was seeing - "detail upon detail, complex structures - Oh my! I never would have imagined!" A Sun, a scope, a wedge, and a Sidewalk Guy is all it takes to make this stuff happen!

Sisters day out at the park turned into a fun solar observe with proud mom enjoying her daughters inquisitive questions and super polite manners. These two made my outing with the younger making very detailed observations for a child her age! Katie the eldest is a Solar System enthusiast who loves the planets of which Mars captures her imagination the most.

This was not one of my more enthusiastic outings as far as general response from the public. Not sure what happened this day as there was a kids fair at the park (unexpected by me) and folks were just not that friendly or receptive. But John bought his interest and questions and we had a very nice 45 minutes together - he viewed (he was glued to the scope and had a great viewing time all to himself), asked great questions and SUG did his thing. Just as it should be! John really liked the solar wedge so I did a minor take apart and explained the workings to him. He was very impressed with the design and no wonder as he is very interested in design and engineering! 35 Lookers this day.


The Urban Astronomer said...

Nice job bring the Sun to the masses, Richard. I am thinking we need a Solar Awareness Day on the solstice this year, rolling out sidewalk telescopes around the world to show off the growing number of sunspots and to get people to pay attention to science a little bit more. You are doing great work for your community -- keep it up!

And the cool solar wedge sounds great. I'll try to get myself out to your neighborhood one of these days when you are showing off the sky.

-- Paul, your friendly Urban Astronomer from San Francisco.

Sidewalk Universe said...

Hi Paul! I like the idea of the S.A.D on the solstice!

I would be a participant in this effort!

Paul that wedge is nothing short of awesome - so easy for the public to enjoy quality views and make detailed observations!

I would enjoy doing a joint program with you sometime.

Yes indeed you are "The Friendly Urban Astronomer"!

Paulie said...

It's nice that el Sol has been cooperating this year, with activity almost every time I look. As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, I'm going to make a habit of doing sidewalk solar observations.

Sidewalk Universe said...

True Paulie we should have lots of opportunities with our sun! I hope you have a super location in mind to WOW folks with!

Do you still have the H alpha scope?