Awesome fall day here and what a opportunity to get out and share some of the universe. One thing I enjoy doing in my outreaches is to challenge my visitors to see and examine the sky delights in detail and context. This includes our Sun and Moon sharing the same angular size in our sky. With our Moon being 400x smaller than the Sun and the Sun 400x farther away provides for us one unique same size view of our Sun and Moon. A total Solar Eclipse demonstrates this very well! But with no total eclipse available we have to demonstrate this in other ways. The first challenge is picking out that 3 day smiley face Moon against the bright daytime sky.
This is where Jumbo Styro Ball comes in. With a little coaching from yours truly and with the lunar phase cycle now understood and modeled one can set out to find this thin Moon with the JSB modeling what they should see. And you know what, they will see it! The joy and glee of this self discovery never gets old. With no prior astronomy experience these 2 women out for a day in the park with the kids had 20 minutes of discovery and enlightenment!
Next we move to the Solar viewers as we compare our now discovered day light Moon and our nearby star. OMG they are the same size! Look at David's as face it tells the whole story. He was floored by this new revelation. Daye nearby quietly complicated the whole show.
Jason went through the whole of this Saturday afternoon program and made quality observations of Luna and Sol - this is the last stage. Yes they are the same size here too with the same eyepiece! The Solar limb action kept Jason glued and in the process he was able to catch a glimpse of a white light flare! Changing Lunar shadows reviled jumbo craters showing peaks over the hour he spent at the scope. His son Andrew was so well behaved as pop enjoyed the changing celestial show.
Daye came back twice during the afternoon to enjoy the changing faces of the Sun and Moon. Having some vision challenges she patiently observed and was rewarded with great views and detailed observes!
I think she really enjoyed the daytime astronomy thing!