Saturday, October 29, 2011

Same Size Sun & Moon Street Astro

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!


Pembrokeshire Astronomer said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Pembrokeshire Astronomer said...

Sorry SUG messed that last comment up.

Here it is again:

Looks like it was great day's observing and teaching SUG...

I'm always amazed at the Moon being x400 smaller than Sol and Sol being X400 times further away...If they wrote that into a Science Fiction story nobody would believe it.. :0)

The excitment of finding the Moon in daylight reminds me of my first sighting of Venus in daylight... I think I danced around the garden if memory serves well :0)

Nice one SUG a wonderful day of astronomy, only wish I could have been there....:0)


Paulie said...

Astronomy in daylight. I love it, but miss it. I have a feeling that as the temperature drops, especially at night, I'll be doing more daytime viewing. That's how I got started solar observing last winter: it was too cold for nighttime astronomy.

Derema said...

Hey there,

I really did love doing some daytime astronomy with you and the rest of the people at the marina. I got some great views of the sun and had a lot of fun. Thank you very much for giving me and everyone else the opportunity to enjoy the sky night AND day.

~Derema~ AKA: De

Sidewalk Universe said...

Hey Pembs this Sun/Moon size thing is easy to demonstrate and most of my visitors really enjoyed the activity. I am glad that you get the same enjoyment out of these simple but profound observations as I do.

Do you do any outreach in your neck of the woods?

Hey Paulie one thing I really appreciate about you is that you max out your opportunities and that you bring the heavens to people in creative ways! Do not stop!

Hey De it is not too often one of my visitors chimes in here but I am glad that you did! It is my delight to bring the things that fascinate me about the cosmos to others. I am glad it impacted you in a positive way. Our Sun Earth moon system must be understood if we are to put the rest of the cosmos in proper perspective. Aren't these observations easy to make once guided to them? Profound and inspiring once discovered?

The cosmos is right at our finger tips all the time!